Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
 
1703. White Roses
 
By Cora Fabbri
 
 
THERE was a rose-tree grew so high
And white with all its seven roses,
It seemed a cloud ’twixt earth and sky.
 
There was one rose among the seven
That grew alone on topmost bough,        5
Like a white star caught down from heaven.
 
I plucked it that it should not be
Deflowered by rainy, wild west winds
In all its white virginity.
 
There was a little maiden dead        10
In a dark room in a lone place—
Two candles at her feet and head.
 
Her two hands crossed upon her breast,
Like frail rose petals, but more still—
Glad to be folded thus at rest.        15
 
Her pale lips smiling all the while,
In such a solemn, perfect peace,
Alas, as our lips never smile.
 
I gave my white rose to the dead—
It seemed less white than her young brow:        20
The others wept—“Alas!” they said.
 
I gave my white rose to the child,
Both plucked in their young purity,
And while the others wept I smiled.
 

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