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Noon Edition

A Thousand Flowers, Each Seeming One

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Elizabeth Barrett Browning was born in London in 1809 and died in Florence in 1861.

Here are some excerpts from her poem "A Flower in a Letter":


My lonely chamber next the sea

Is full of many flowers set free

By summer's earliest duty:

Dear friends upon the garden-walk

Might stop amid their fondest talk

To pull the least in beauty.


A thousand flowers, each seeming one

That learnt by gazing on the sun

To counterfeit his shining;

Within whose leaves the holy dew

That falls from heaven has won anew

A glory, in declining.



Deep violets, you liken to

The kindest eyes that look on you,

Without a thought disloyal;

And cactuses a queen might don

If weary of a golden crown,

And still appear as royal.



Love's language may be talked with these;

To work out choicest sentences,

No blossoms can be meeter;

And, such being used in Eastern bowers,

Young maids may wonder if the flowers

Or meanings be the sweeter.

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