Lily Adair

Original Text: 
  • T. H. Chivers, Virginalia; or, Songs of my Summer Nights. A Gift of Love for the Beautiful (Philadelphia: Lippincott, Grambo, 1853): 25-26.
4    Such songs as she heard in her dreams.
6    Look down through the ebon night air,
8    Lit up for my Lily Adair --
9    For my child-like Lily Adair --
10    For my heaven-born Lily Adair --
11For my beautiful, dutiful Lily Adair.
12Like two rose-leaves in sunshine when blowing,
13    Just curled softly, gently apart,
14Were her lips by her passion, while growing
15    In perfume on the stalk of her heart.
16As mild as the sweet influences
17    Of the Pleiades 'pregning the air --
18More mild than the throned Excellencies
19    Up in heaven, was my Lily Adair --
20    Was my Christ-like Lily Adair --
21    Was my lamb-like Lily Adair --
22Was my beautiful, dutiful Lily Adair.
23At the birth of this fair virgin Vestal,
24    She was taken for Venus' child;
25And her voice, though like diamond in crystal,
26    Was not more melodious than mild.
27Like the moon in her soft silver splendor,
28    She was shrined in her own, past compare,
29For no Angel in heaven was more tender
30    Than my beautiful Lily Adair --
31    Than my dove-like Lily Adair --
32    Than my saint-like Lily Adair --
33Than my beautiful, dutiful Lily Adair.
34Thus she stood on the arabesque borders
35    Of the beautiful blossoms that blew
36On the banks of the crystalline waters,
37    Every morn, in the diaphane dew.
38The flowers, they were radiant with glory,
39    And shed such perfume on the air,
40That my soul, now to want them, feels sorry,
41    And bleeds for my Lily Adair --
42    For my much-loved Lily Adair --
43    For my long-lost Lily Adair --
44For my beautiful, dutiful Lily Adair.


1] rebecs: three-stringed musical instrument. Back to Line
2] hyaline: glassy. Back to Line
3] Yuba: river in the Sacramento valley, California. Back to Line
5] eyries: high nests. Back to Line
7] Ouphantic: meaning unclear. Back to Line
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire / Sharine Leung
RPO Edition: