The Cyclamen by Arlo Bates

Over the plains where Persian hosts

Laid down their lives for glory

Flutter the cyclamens, like ghosts

That witness to their story.

Oh, fair! Oh, white! Oh, pure as snow!

On countless graves how sweet they grow!


Or crimson, like the cruel wounds

From which the life-blood, flowing,

Poured out where now on grassy mounds

The low, soft winds are blowing:

Oh, fair! Oh, red! Like blood of slain;

Not even time can cleanse that stain.


But when my dear these blossoms holds,

All loveliness her dower,

All woe and joy the past enfolds

In her find fullest flower.

Oh, fair! Oh, pure! Oh, white and red!

If she but live, what are the dead!