Amy Lowell

Merely Statement

You sent me a sprig of mignonette,	
Cool-colored, quiet, and it was wet	
With green sea-spray, and the salt and the sweet	
Mingled to a fragrance weary and discreet	
As a harp played softly in a great room at sunset.	         
You said: “My sober mignonette	
Will brighten your room and you will not forget.”	
But I have pressed your flower and laid it away	
In a letter, tied with a ribbon knot.	
I have not forgot.	       
But there is a passion-flower in my vase	
Standing above a close-cleared space	
In the midst of a jumble of papers and books.	
The passion-flower holds my eyes,	
And the light-under-light of its blue and purple dyes	         
Is a hot surprise.	
How then can I keep my looks	
From the passion-flower leaning sharply over the books?	
When one has seen	
The difficult magnificence of a queen	         
On one’s table,	
Is one able	
To observe any color in a mignonette?	
I will not think of sunset, I crave the dawn,	
With its rose-red light on the wings of a swan,	         
And a queen pacing slowly through the Parthenon,	
Her dress a stare of purple between pillars of stone.