The Lily Of The Valley

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O'er hill and dale the welcome news is flying
  That summer's drawing near;
  Out of my thicket cool, my cranny hidden,
  Around I shyly peer.

  He will not notice me, this guest resplendent,
  Unseen I shall remain,
  Content to live if of his banquet royal
  Some glimpses I may gain.

  Behold! Behold! His banquet hall's before me,
  Pillared with forest trees;
  Lo! as he feasts, a thousand sunbeams sparkle,
  His gracious smiles are these.

  Hail to thee, brilliant world! Ye heavens fretted
  With clouds of silver hue!
  Ye waves of mighty ocean, tossing, tossing,
  Fair in my sight as new!

  Far in the past (if years my life has numbered,
  Ghost-like in thought they drift),
  Came to me silently the truth eternal--
  Joy is life's richest gift.

  Thus, in return for life's abundant dower,
  A gift have I: I bear
  A spotless soul, from whose unseen recesses
  Exhales a fragrance rare.

  Strong is the power in gentle souls indwelling,
  Born of a joy divine;
  Theirs is a sphere untrod by creatures earthly,
  By beings gross, supine.

  Fragile and small, and set in quiet places,
  My worth should I forget?
  Some one who seeks friend, counselor, or lover,
  Will find and prize me yet.

  Thou lovely maid, through mossy pathways straying,
  Striving to make thy choice,
  Hearing the while the brook which downward leaping,
  Lifts up its merry voice,
  Pluck me; and as a rich reward I'll whisper
  Things them wilt love to hear:
  The name of him who comes to win thy favor
  I'll whisper in thine ear!

© Per Daniel Amadeus Atterbom