'Tis said that in the sun-embroidered East,

There dwelt a race whose softly flowing hours

Passed like the vision of a royal feast,

By Nero given in the Baian bowers;

Thanks to the lotus-blossom spell,

Their lives were one long miracle.

In after years the passing sons of men

Looked for those lotus blossoms all in vain,

Through every hillside, glade, and glen

And e'en the isles of many a main;

Yet through the centuries some doom,

Forbade them see the lotus bloom.

The Old World wearied of the long pursuit,

And called the sacred leaf a poet's theme,

When lo! the New World, rich in flower and fruit,

Revealed the lotus, lovelier than the dream

That races of the long past days did haunt,--

The green-leaved, amber-tipped tobacco plant.