Cowper, William - The Lily and the Rose
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
THE LILY AND THE ROSE - William Cowper
THE nymph must lose her female friend,
If more admired than she—
But where will fierce contention end
If flow'rs can disagree?
Within the garden's peaceful scene
Appear'd two lovely foes,
Aspiring to the rank of queen—
The Lily and the Rose.
The Rose soon redden'd into rage,
And, swelling with disdain,
Appeal'd to many a poet's page
To prove her right to reign.
The Lily's height bespoke command—
A fair imperial flow'r;
She seem'd designed for Flora's hand,
The sceptre of her pow'r.
The civil bick'ring and debate
The goddess chanc'd to hear,
And flew to save, ere yet too late,
The pride of the parterre.—
Yours is, she said, the nobler hue,
And yours the statelier mien,
And, till a third surpasses you,
Let each be deem'd a queen.