THE FLOWERS OF THE BALL-ROOM.
We are the flowers of the ball-room – the
unhappy victims of gay festivities.
Timid and reserved, we come with no adornment
but our own simple charms; and we have to contend with those flowers of the mine
Those children of fire, the opal, the
amethyst, the turquoise, and the topaz, sparkle in the lamp-light.
But we, who are daughters of the air and the
dew, – we open our eyes to look only at the moon and the stars. The atmosphere
of the dance dries and consumes us. Within a quarter of an hour we wither.
Why, young maiden, dost thou place us among
thy beautiful tresses? Look on thy toilet-table. Hast thou not flowers there,
made by human hands? – flowers which fear not the heat, not the dust, nor the
light of lustres, nor the jostling of the crowd? Take us not, young lady, to the
ball. Leave us to bathe our pliant feet in these crystal vases. We will perfume
thy apartment; and when thou shalt return, pale, weary, and pensive, we will
greet thee with smiles, and will mingle sweet dreams with thy sleep.
O! take us not, young lady, to the ball.
Alas! she heeds not. We are twined in a fresh
garland for her hair; we are blooming upon her bosom. Come, then; we must needs
go. We are the flowers of the ball-room – the unhappy victims of gay
One by one, our petals will be pulled out, and
will be trodden under foot. Ere the ball is over, we shall lose our place in
these tresses – this cincture will hold us no longer. To-morrow some coarse
servant will pick us up and throw us into the street.
Once more, young maiden, we entreat thee,
leave us here, in thy virgin chamber, where we are so happy.
Thou are going. – Take care,
young woman! living flower of society, – sprightly ornament of the ball, – lest,
treating thee as it treats us, the world shall one day tread thee under foot,
and leave thee in the street.