From the Book of Valentines

by Bliss Carman


 

THE CREATION OF LILITH


 

This happened in the Garden 
Ages on ages since, 
When noontide made a pleasant shade 
Of ilex, pear and quince.

The Gardener sat and pondered

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Some beauty rarer still 
Than any he had wrought of earth 
And fashioned to his will.

"Now who will be her body?" 
"I," said the splendid rose,

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"Colour, fire and fragrance, 
In imperial repose."

"Who will be her two eyes?"
"I," said the flag of blue,
"Sky and sea all shadowy

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Drench me wholly through."

"Who will be her bright mouth?" 
"I," the carnation said, 
"With my old Eastern ardour 
And my Persian red."

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"Who will be, among you, 
The glory of her hair?" 
His glance went reaching through the noon; 
The marigold was there.

"Who will be her laughter, 

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Her love-word and her sigh?" 
Among the whispering tree-tops 
A breath of wind said, "I."

"And whence will come her spirit?"
Answer there was none.

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The Gardener breathed upon her mouth,
And lo, there had been done

The miracle of beauty
Outmarvelling the flowers;
While the great blue dial

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Recorded the slow hours.