Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Georgian Verse
William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Georgian Verse.  1909.
The Rose
By William Cowper (1731–1800)
THE ROSE had been washed, just washed in a shower,
  Which Mary to Anna conveyed,
The plentiful moisture encumbered the flower,
  And weighed down its beautiful head.
The cup was all filled, and the leaves were all wet,        5
  And it seemed, to a fanciful view,
To weep for the buds it had left with regret
  On the flourishing bush where it grew.
I hastily seized it, unfit as it was
  For a nosegay, so dripping and drowned;        10
And swinging it rudely, too rudely, alas!
  I snapped it—it fell to the ground.
‘And such,’ I exclaimed, ‘is the pitiless part
  Some act by the delicate mind,
Regardless of wringing and breaking a heart        15
  Already to sorrow resigned!
‘This elegant rose, had I shaken it less,
  Might have bloomed with its owner awhile;
And the tear that is wiped with a little address
  May be followed perhaps by a smile.’        20

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