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.
Ticknor And Fields, Boston