Verse > Anthologies > Alfred H. Miles, ed. > Women Poets of the Nineteenth Century
Alfred H. Miles, ed.  Women Poets of the Nineteenth Century.  1907.
Autumn Songs (1889)
I. The Lament of a White Rose
By Mary M. Singleton (“Violet Fane”) (1843–1905)
I GREW beside a garden seat,
  Where happy children laugh’d and play’d,
  And tender lovers—dreaming—stray’d,
Whilst all my budding breast was sweet;
(Oh, why was I only a poor white rose!)        5
Anon, the children’s mirth was o’er,
  The tender lovers clung and wept;
  Within the house a mother slept
Her last long sleep, to wake no more;
(Oh, why was I only a poor white rose!)        10
They came and cull’d a funeral wreath,
  They pluck’d the white, they spared the red,
  They flung me on a straiten’d bed,
On her cold breast who lay in death.
(Oh, why was I only a poor white rose!)        15
They mourn’d and sigh’d in bow’r and hall,
  The children cried, the lovers clung;
  A great bell tolled with solemn tongue,
The coffin-lid leant by the wall;
(Oh, why was I only a poor white rose!)        20
They lifted up the coffin-lid,
  Strange footsteps echoed on the stair,
  Her children came to see her there,
And kiss her ere her face was hid;
(Oh, why was I only a poor white rose!)        25
They wept in hall, they wept in bow’r
  Their tears fell o’er me as they kissed her,
  But the red rose weeps for her own pale sister
Buried alive ’neath the grey church tow’r.
(Oh, why was I only a poor white rose!)        30

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