The Clematis

Fair crown of stars of purest ray,
   Hung aloft on Mapau tree,
What floral beauties ye display,
   Stars of snowy purity;
Around the dark-leaved mapau's head
Unsullied garlands ye have spread.

Concealed were all thy beauties rare
   'Neath the dark umbrageous shade,
But still to gain the loftiest spray,
   Thy weak stem its efforts made;
Now, every obstacle o'ercome,
Thou smilest from thy leafy home.

That home secure, 'mid sombre leaves
   Yielded by thy stalwart spouse,
Helps thee to show thy fairy crown,
   Decorates his dusky boughs:
His strength, thy beauty, both unite
And form a picture to delight.

Fair flower, methinks thou dost afford
   Emblem of a perfect wife,
Whose work is hidden from the world,
   Till, perchance, her husband's life
Is by her influence beautified,
And this by others is descried.

by Alexander Bathgate

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