by Anne H Spicer
written June 18, 1917
from 'Fleur-De-Lis - A Flower of Song' by Walter Stager
It's iris time! It's iris time! 'Twixt tulip-days and rose,
The garden walls in iris time with purple splendor glows,
The leafy spears are on parade, the bugles of the June,
Summons each bud and bloom and blade with sturdy marching tune.
Although my garden's humble earth stands for democracy,
The simple flowers of peasants birth make way for royalty,
For King of Iris golden-crowned - and tall and pink and gay -
Her Majesty comes, rosy-gowned (or is it Queen of May?)
Maori Kings and Gypsy Queens are handsome proud and tanned,
Next comes a group of Florentines, the tallest in the land.
Penelope's a lovely whirl of blue and gold and white,
Mme. Chereau with fringe and curl, is French, and charming quite.
In red and gold old Honorabile stands proud, presenting arms,
Dalmatica deep pride must feel in her rich purple charms.
Pallida wears a paler hue, of course Canary's yellow,
Alvarez carries royal blue, John Bull's a stout old fellow.
The Quaker Lady mauve and grey, hangs down her peaceful head,
Charles Dickens turns to violet gay, since he is never red.
Aurea's gold, so's Souvenier though streaked with veins of dark,
(For memory is sometimes drear and sorrow leaves a mark).
Rhein Nixe and the Lorelei (say, must we change their nation?)
Celeste's soft blue is like the sky, Neglecta's poor in station,
But she has champions to fear, Hector the fine the splendid,
And Agamemnon guards the rear, with him the list is ended.
The earth is sweet in iris time, fresh green, and birds a-twitter,
Young love that hums its budding rhyme, and beams of sunny glitter
(And yet what heart can beat carefree while trampled on and bleeding
The proud pale blooms of Fleur de Lis are crushed by feet unheeding?)