A Magnolia Grandiflora

Mary Clemmer Ames

Half flame, half fragrance, wonderful thou art,
O peerless blossom! Fold on fold of snow,
Swathing from careless eyes its inner glow,
Doth lie, unsullied, on thy golden heart.
World-voices harsh roll inward from the mart,
The rude winds idly through thy petals flow.
And dusts of highways on thy beauty blow;
But, pure as ether, thou dost bloom apart.

How like thy giver art thou, regnant flower!
Thy stainless stole, like hers, doth starlike shine;
Thy folded samite is her rich heart's dower.
Thy mystic cup, thy consecrated wine.
All symbolize her spiritual power,
Regina, reigning by Love's holiest shrine.

Author's Note: The last Magnolia that bloomed for Mrs. Hayes in the White
House, 1881

Rutherford B. Hayes was President of the USA from 1877-1881. His wife was Lucy Hayes.