Portrait of Henry Timrod

Henry Timrod

Dec 8, 1828 - Oct 6, 1867


To Fairy

by Henry Timrod

Do you recall -- I know you do --
A little gift once made to you, --
A simple basket filled with flowers,
All favorites of our Southern bowers?

One was a snowy myrtle-bud,
Another blushed as if with blood,
A third was pink of softest tinge,
Then came a disk with purple fringe.

You took them with a happy smile,
And nursed them for a little while,
And once or twice perhaps you thought
Of the fond messages they brought.

And yet you could not then divine
The promise in that gift of mine, --
In those bright blooms and odors sweet,
I laid this volume at your feet.

At yours, my child, who scarcely know
How much to your dear self I owe --
Too young and innocent as yet
To guess in what consists the debt.

Therefore to you henceforth belong
These Southern asphodels of song, --
Less my creations than your own,
What praise they win is yours alone.

For here no fancy finds a place
But is an effluence of your grace; --
And when my songs are sweetest, then
A Dream like you hath touched the pen.


Copyright 1860
Ticknor And Fields, Boston