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The Violet Pressed in a Copy of Shakespeare

Duncan Campbell Scott 1862 (Ottawa) – 1947



Here in the inmost of the master's heart
This violet crisp with early dew
Has come to leave her beauty and to part
With all her vivid hue.

And while in hollow glades and dells of musk,
Her fellows will reflower in bands,
Clasping the deeps of shade and emerald dusk,
With sweet inviolate hands,

She will lie here, a ghost of their delight,
Their lucent stems all ashen gray,
Their purples fallen into pulvil white,
Dull as the bluebird's alula.

But her where human passions pulse in power,
She will transcend our Shakespeare's art,
From Desdemona to a smothered flower,
Will leap the tragic heart.

And memory will recall in keener mood
The precinct fair where passion grew,
The stars within the water in the wood,
The moonlit grove, the odorous dew.

The voice that throbbed along the summer dark
Will float and pause and thrill,
In lonely cadence silvern as the lark,
To fail below the hill.

The reader will grow weary of the play,
Finding his hearts half understood,
And with the young moon in the early dusk will stray
Beside the starry water in the wood.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Duncan Campbell Scott

Duncan Campbell Scott was a Canadian bureaucrat, Canadian poet and prose writer. more…

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