Elegy for a Lost Pot-Plant


  • Elegy for a Lost Pot-Plant

By Catherine Tait


Sweet Orchid of my first-year halls,

Whom I did cease to water,

I watched thy luscious foliage fall

And rot upon thy slaughter.


Now liest thou in compost bin

For worm to feast upon,

Thy murderer laments her sin

And knows she did thee wrong


When first thy tender blooms did grow

And light did catch thy flow’r

Thy petals were with fire aglow

That lit thy gloomy bow’r


So soon did thee those riches shed,

Thy suffering kept mute,

Thou saw’st thy petals shrivellèd

Thanks to the student brute


Yet bravely didst thou soldier on

In your sickly stage of life

Thy leaves at least were still not gone

Despite thy endless strife


No prizes did thy courage reap

When leaves soon wilted too

Upon the ground they formed heap

And rotted into goo

Only as thou Earth departed

Did Catherine shed a tear

Now she grieves, and, broken-hearted

Laments that fateful year


While current charges in her care

Are better lookèd after

‘Ere she kills them I must dare

To mention something dafter


A student house is dim and damp –

A fitting habitation

For lifeforms of a different camp

That thrive on condensation


Green it shares as common hue

With her lost vegetation

It has a fluffy texture too

By way of compensation


An Eden she must now create

But not with flora filled

Mould must she now cultivate

With hope it won’t be killed.

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  1. Elegy for a Lost Pot-Plant

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