Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. II. Love
Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume II. Love.  1904.
II. Love’s Nature
Mary Louise Ritter
WHY came the rose? Because the sun, in shining,
  Found in the mold some atoms rare and fine:
And, stooping, drew and warmed them into growing,—
  Dust, with the spirit’s mystic countersign.
What made the perfume? All his wondrous kisses        5
  Fell on the sweet red mouth, till, lost to sight,
The love became too exquisite, and vanished
  Into a viewless rapture of the night.
Why did the rose die? Ah, why ask the question?
  There is a time to love, a time to give;        10
She perished gladly, folding close the secret
  Wherein is garnered what it is to live.

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