Tonight! before the bright footlights,
Decked with jewels that flash and gleam,
In robe of velvet and ermine,
I played the part of a queen.
Far upward my voice soared birdlike
Till it seemed to reach the blue sky,
Then changed to notes low and plaintive,
Like the soft summer wind’s low sigh.
Before me were beautiful women,
The cultured, the stately, the grand!
There were men of wealth and fashion
Who had begged me for my hand.
At my feet fell fairest of flowers
That perfumed the tropical air!
In one was hidden a jewel
That shone in the gaslight’s bright glare.
Some one tossed a few wild roses,
But little the dazzling crowd guessed
Why the others I left unnoticed
And clasped them fondly to my breast.
Again I was poor little Inez,
The fisherman’ s child by the sea!
The cluster of wild pink roses
Brought a moonlight picture to me.
The round moon upon the waters
Made a pathway of golden light !
Across it a ship was sailing
I was watching it out of Sight.
In that brave ship my boy lover
Sailed away out into the night!
I held in my hands wild roses
As I watched it vanish from sight.
Tonight, not knowing, not dreaming,
I sang to one just home from sea!
Twas the hand of my boy lover
Tossed the sweet wild roses to me.
California Violets by Grace Hibbard (1902)
Nature by Max Albert Carlier (1872-1938)