The Flower Of The Ruins

George Meredith 1828 (Portsmouth, Hampshire) – 1909 (Box Hill, Surrey)

Take thy lute and sing
By the ruined castle walls,
Where the torrent-foam falls,
And long weeds wave:
Take thy lute and sing,
O'er the grey ancestral grave!
Daughter of a King,
Tune thy string.

Sing of happy hours,
In the roar of rushing time;
Till all the echoes chime
To the days gone by;
Sing of passing hours
To the ever-present sky; -
Weep-and let the showers
Wake thy flowers.

Sing of glories gone:-
No more the blazoned fold
From the banner is unrolled;
The gold sun is set.
Sing his glory gone,
For thy voice may charm him yet;
Daughter of the dawn,
He is gone!

Pour forth all thy grief!
Passionately sweep the chords,
Wed them quivering to thy words;
Wild words of wail!
Shed thy withered grief -
But hold not Autumn to thy bale;
The eddy of the leaf
Must be brief!

Sing up to the night:
Hard it is for streaming tears
To read the calmness of the spheres;
Coldly they shine;
Sing up to their light;
They have views thou may'st divine -
Gain prophetic sight
From their light!

On the windy hills
Lo, the little harebell leans
On the spire-grass that it queens,
With bonnet blue;
Trusting love instils
Love and subject reverence true;
Learn what love instils
On the hills!

By the bare wayside
Placid snowdrops hang their cheeks,
Softly touch'd with pale green streaks,
Soon, soon, to die;
On the clothed hedgeside
Bands of rosy beauties vie,
In their prophesied
Summer pride.

From the snowdrop learn;
Not in her pale life lives she,
But in her blushing prophecy.
Thus be thy hopes,
Living but to yearn
Upwards to the hidden scopes; -
Even within the urn
Let them burn!

Heroes of thy race -
Warriors with golden crowns,
Ghostly shapes with marbled frowns
Stare thee to stone;
Matrons of thy race
Pass before thee making moan;
Full of solemn grace
Is their pace.

Piteous their despair!
Piteous their looks forlorn!
Terrible their ghostly scorn!
Still hold thou fast; -
Heed not their despair! -
Thou art thy future, not thy past;
Let them glance and glare
Thro' the air.

Thou the ruin's bud,
Be not that moist rich-smelling weed
With its arras-sembled brede,
And ruin-haunting stalk;
Thou the ruin's bud,
Be still the rose that lights the walk,
Mix thy fragrant blood
With the flood!

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Submitted on May 13, 2011


George Meredith

George Meredith was an English novelist and poet of the Victorian era. He was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature seven times. more…

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"The Flower Of The Ruins" STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 8 Aug. 2020. <>.

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