Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
532. The Rose and Thorn
By Paul Hamilton Hayne
SHE ’S loveliest of the festal throng
  In delicate form and Grecian face,—
A beautiful, incarnate song,
  A marvel of harmonious grace,
And yet I know the truth I speak:        5
  From those gay groups she stands apart,
A rose upon her tender cheek,
    A thorn within her heart.
Though bright her eyes’ bewildering gleams,
  Fair tremulous lips and shining hair,        10
A something born of mournful dreams
  Breathes round her sad enchanted air;
No blithesome thoughts at hide and seek
  From out her dimples smiling start;
If still the rose be on her cheek,        15
    A thorn is in her heart.
Young lover, tossed ’twixt hope and fear,
  Your whispered vow and yearning eyes
Yon marble Clytie pillared near
  Could move as soon to soft replies;        20
Or, if she thrill at words you speak,
  Love’s memory prompts the sudden start;
The rose has paled upon her cheek,
    The thorn has pierced her heart.


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