The Soul-Flower.

From: Poems (1844)
Author: Christopher Pearse Cranch
Published: Carey and Hart 1844 Philadelphia

The Soul-Flower.

I DREAMED of a Flower that bloomed in the ocean,
Far down—all alone,
So deep, there was not a sound or motion,
Nor a sea-beast’s ear to catch the groan
Of the upper sea in its strife.
The green waves were noiseless and harmless as sleep,
And a dim light struggled to pierce the deep,
But all was cold and shadowless,
And all was void and motionless,
For here there was no LIFE,
Saving of this one flower.
O ‘twas a starlike thing,
A vision of calm, undying power;
Bell-like and deep, like an urn of pearl,
With anthers all golden and glittering,
And slowly its petals of white did unfurl;
A marble flower, yet living and growing;
Sweet and pure as a seraph’s dream.
0 dim are the diamond and ruby’s gleam,
And the myriad gems that are glowing,
When I think on the light of this lonely flower,
Far down in its silent and dim sea-bower.

The storms of the upper waves raged on,
But here was no tempest or noise to dread;
Huge wrecks and bodies of men came down,
But they hung drifting far over head,
They sank not down to the sacred bower
Where bloomed the peaceful ocean-flower.
The sea-snake and whale in their giant race,
Were lost when they sought for this lonely place,
And all the bright-coloured things that gleam
And dart through the deep, were like meteors that stream
Through a summer sky; while the sea-stars shone,
Some in clusters, and some alone,
Whose far off twinklings feebly sent
A light through the vast dim element.

And I know whenever this dream comes back,
That there is a flower like this, on earth;
It hath not here its place of birth,
And seldom may we track
The path that leads to the inner shrine
Where its glories spread and shine.
Yet ye need not roam from star to star;
Ye need not seek this flower afar;
It blooms deep down in the human heart;
It hath no peer in the pride of art,
It blooms in the breast of the wise and pure,
But withers a sinful heart within,
For its amaranth beauty cannot endure
The blighting atmosphere of sin
0 holy and beautiful Spirit-Flower!
Thou art no dream of an idle hour!
Immortal as the Primal Beam—
Too true, too lovely for a dream.

Wouldst thou know what this beauty is?
Wouldst thou give all to have but this?
Wouldst thou know how and for what to live?
Wouldst thou garner what worlds cannot give?
Then guard thine own heart: in its fathomless deeps
The swelling bud of that flower sleeps.

Watch, lest it sleep till it wither away!
Watch, till it opens and blooms to the day!

September, 1836.

All Sub-Works of Poems (1844):
PDF Sub-Works open in a new tab. Close the tab when done viewing to return here.