Verse > Anthologies > Ralph Waldo Emerson, ed. > Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry
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Ralph Waldo Emerson, comp. (1803–1882).  Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry.  1880.
 
To the Herb Rosemary
By Henry Kirke White (1785–1806)
 
SWEET-SCENTED flower! who art wont to bloom
  On January’s front severe,
And o’er the wintry desert drear
  To waft thy waste perfume!
  Come, thou shalt form my nosegay now,        5
And I will bind thee round my brow;
  And as I twine the mournful wreath,
I’ll weave a melancholy song,
  And sweet the strain shall be, and long,—
The melody of death.        10
 
Come, funeral flower! who lov’st to dwell
  With the pale corse in lonely tomb,
And throw across the desert gloom
  A sweet decaying smell.
Come, press my lips, and lie with me        15
Beneath the lowly alder-tree,
  And we will sleep a pleasant sleep,
And not a care shall dare intrude
To break the marble solitude,
  So peaceful and so deep.        20
 
And hark! the wind-god, as he flies,
  Moans hollow in the forest trees,
  And, sailing on the gusty breeze,
Mysterious music dies.
  Sweet flower! that requiem wild is mine;        25
  It warns me to the lonely shrine,
  The cold turf altar of the dead;
  My grave shall be in yon lone spot,
  Where as I lie, by all forgot,
A dying fragrance thou wilt o’er my ashes shed.        30
 
 
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