Love Came to Flora Asking for a Flower

Original Text: 
Dutt, Toru, "Ballads of Hindostan -- Miscellaneous Poems," intro. Edmund W. Gosse, in Hindu Literature Comprising The Book of Good Counsels, Nala and Damayanti, Sakoontala, The Ramayana, and Poems of Toru Dutt, ed. Epiphanius Wilson, rev. edn. (New York: Colonial Press, 1900): 465.
2    That would of flowers be undisputed queen,
3    The lily and the rose, long, long had been
4Rivals for that high honor. Bards of power
5Had sung their claims. "The rose can never tower
7    "But is the lily lovelier?" Thus between
9"Give me a flower delicious as the rose
10    And stately as the lily in her pride" --
11But of what color?" -- "Rose-red," Love first chose,
12    Then prayed -- "No, lily-white -- or, both provide;"
14And "lily-white" -- the queenliest flower that blows.

Notes

1] Flora: Roman goddess of flowers and spring. Back to Line
6] Juno: Queen of Zeus and goddess of marriage. Back to Line
8] Psyche: immortalized human, the beloved of Cupid. Back to Line
13] lotus: water-lily, Egyptian and Asian, associated in Hindu and Buddist thought with meditation and spiritual health. Back to Line
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
2001
Rhyme: 
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