Ida Whipple Benham (1849-1903)

"The author of the pleasant fancy, The Pimpernell, lives at Mystic Bridge, Conn.  She was born in 1849, and is now married to Elijah B. Benham.  The sonnet appeared in Outing ."  (Crandall)

The Scarlet Pimpernel

O have you seen the scarlet pimpernel,
The wild, sea-flavored blossom of the strand,
The token flower, the pledge of sea and land,
And have you learned to heed its secret spell?
Aurora's friend, it loves the morning well,
And you shall find it open to your hand
The sunny morning through,óbut understand
Storm clouds will close it closer than a shell.
Love is the pimpernel:  then do not wait;
Go in the morning, faithful to the hour,
Go when thy lady keeps her matin state;
Her heart is coy, and closes like a flower.
Go in the sunlight, haste and claim love's boon,
Nor tempt the changing skies and afternoon.

(Text from Representative Sonnets by American Poets)


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