Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895.  1895.
 
A Song of Winter
 
Emily Pfeiffer (1841–90)
 
 
BARB’D blossom of the guarded gorse,
  I love thee where I see thee shine:
Thou sweetener of our common-ways,
And brightener of our wintry days.
 
Flower of the gorse, the rose is dead,        5
  Thou art undying, O be mine!
Be mine with all thy thorns, and prest
Close on a heart that asks not rest.
 
I pluck thee and thy stigma set
  Upon my breast and on my brow;        10
Blow, buds, and plenish so my wreath
That none may know the wounds beneath.
 
O crown of thorn that seem’st of gold,
  No festal coronal art thou;
Thy honey’d blossoms are but hives        15
That guard the growth of winged lives.
 
I saw thee in the time of flowers
  As sunshine spill’d upon the land,
Or burning bushes all ablaze
With sacred fire; but went my ways;        20
 
I went my ways, and as I went
  Pluck’d kindler blooms on either hand;
Now of those blooms so passing sweet
None lives to stay my passing feet.
 
And still thy lamp upon the hill        25
  Feeds on the autumn’s dying sigh,
And from thy midst comes murmuring
A music sweeter than in spring.
 
Barb’d blossoms of the guarded gorse,
  Be mine to wear until I die,        30
And mine the wounds of love which still
Bear witness to his human will.
 

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