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Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Irene E. Jerome., In a fair country, Water-Lilies (search)
The pink fades into a lingering flush, and the white creature floats peerless, set in green without and gold within. That bright circle of stamens is the very ring with which Doges once wedded the Adriatic; Venice has lost it, but it dropped into the water-lily's bosom, and there it rests forever. So perfect in form, so redundant in beauty, so delicate, so spotless, so fragrant,—what presumptuous lover ever dared, in his most enamored hour, to liken his mistress to a water-lily? No human Blanche or Lilian was ever so fair as that. The water-lily comes of an ancient and sacred family of white-robed priests. They assisted at the most momentous religious ceremonies, from the beginning of recorded time. The Egyptian Lotus was a sacred plant; it was dedicated to Harpocrates and to the god Noft Atmoo,—Nofr meaning good, whence the name of our yellow lily, Nuphar. But the true Egyptian flower was Nymphaea Lotus, though Nymphaea caerulea, Moore's blue water-lilies, can be traced on t