The goldenrod, the goldenrod
That glows in sun or rain,
Waving its plumes on every bank
From the mountain slope to the main, —
Not dandelions, nor cowslips fine,
Nor buttercups, gems of summer,
Nor leagues of daisies yellow and white,
Can rival this latest comer!
On the plains and the upland pastures
Such regal splendor falls
When forth, from myriad branches green,
Its gold the south wind calls, —
That the tale seems true the Red man's god
Lavished its bloom to say,
" Though days grow brief and suns grow cold,
My love is the same for aye."
And, darker than April violets
Or pallid as wind-flowers grow,
Under its shadow from hill to meadow
Great beds of asters blow; —
O plots of purple o'erhung with gold
That need nor walls nor wardens,
Not fairer shone, to the Median Queen,
Her Babylonian gardens!
On Scotia's moors the gorse is gay,
And England's lanes and fallows
Are decked with broom whose winsome grace
The hovering linnet hallows;
But the robin sings from his maple bough,
" Ah, linnet, lightly won,
Your bloom to my blaze of wayside gold
Is the wan moon to the sun!"
And were I to be a bride at morn,
Ere the chimes rang out I 'd say,
" Not roses red, but goldenrod
Strew in my path to-day!
And let it brighten the dusky aisle,
And flame on the altar-stair,
Till the glory and light of the fields shall flood
The solemn dimness there;"
And should I sleep in my shroud at eve,
Not lilies pale and cold,
But the purple asters of the wood
Within my hand I 'd hold; —
For goldenrod is the flower of love
That time and change defies;
And asters gleam through the autumn air
With the hues of Paradise!
~Edna Dean Proctor