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The Database of Ornament

SPLENDOUR of dawn on the hills, in the rose-coloured
      blossom of morn;
Splendour of moonlight unmuffled and glassed in the
      shimmering sea;
Splendour of melody rolling on surges of harp and
      of horn:
But the splendour of sunset on cloud is the symbol of splendour
      to me.

Glory of legions embattled, with wind-blown banners for
And of brows that are laurelled and lit with the vision of glories
      to be;
Glory of birth, and the blazon of heralds and triumph of kings:
But the glory of grass on the grave is the symbol of glory to

Beauty of noon in the cloudless blue and the full-blown flower;
Beauty of minds that are pure, and beauty of souls that are
Beauty of woman unveiled in the bloom of the Lesbian bower:
But the beauty of love in the bud is the symbol of beauty to


Sorrow of hopes unfulfilled in the blight of unholy desire,
And voices of love that are hushed in the shade of the church-
      yard tree;
Sorrow of sins that grow black in the flame of the cleansing
But the sorrow of wasted youth is the symbol of sorrow to me.

Mystery of wings that are furled in the flesh of the grovelling
Mystery of wisdom that slumbers embalmed in the cell of the
Mystery of fragrance and colour congealed in the core of a
But the mystery of life from the dead is the symbol of mystery
      to me.

                                                                        W. J. ROBERTSON.

MLA citation:

Robertson, W. J.. “Symbols.” The Evergreen; A Northern Seasonal, vol. 4, Winter 1896-7, pp. 51-52. Evergreen Digital Edition, edited by Lorraine Janzen Kooistra, 2016-2018. Yellow Nineties 2.0, Ryerson University Centre for Digital Humanities, 2019.