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Poetry of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Tales of a Wayside Inn


Beautiful lily, dwelling by still rivers,
    Or solitary mere,
Or where the sluggish meadow-brook delivers
    Its waters to the weir!

Thou laughest at the mill, the whir and worry
    Of spindle and of loom,
And the great wheel that toils amid the hurry
    And rushing of the flame.

Born in the purple, born to joy and pleasance,
    Thou dost not toil nor spin,
But makest glad and radiant with thy presence
    The meadow and the lin.

The wind blows, and uplifts thy drooping banner,
    And round thee throng and run
The rushes, the green yeomen of thy manor,
    The outlaws of the sun.

The burnished dragon-fly is thine attendant,
    And tilts against the field,
And down the listed sunbeam rides resplendent
    With steel-blue mail and shield.

Thou art the Iris, fair among the fairest,
    Who, armed with golden rod
And winged with the celestial azure, bearest
    The message of some God.

Thou art the Muse, who far from crowded cities
    Hauntest the sylvan streams,
Playing on pipes of reed the artless ditties
    That come to us as dreams.

O flower-de-luce, bloom on, and let the river
    Linger to kiss thy feet!
O flower of song, bloom on, and make forever
    The world more fair and sweet.