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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
The Rose and the Ring
By Frederick Locker-Lampson (1821–1895)
 
Christmas 1854, and Christmas 1863
(W. M. T.)

SHE smiles—but her heart is in sable,
  And sad as her Christmas is chill:
She reads, and her book is the fable
  He penned for her while she was ill.
It is nine years ago since he wrought it        5
  Where reedy old Tiber is king;
And chapter by chapter he brought it—
  And read her the Rose and the Ring.
 
And when it was printed, and gaining
  Renown with all lovers of glee,        10
He sent her this copy containing
  His comical little croquis;
A sketch of a rather droll couple—
  She’s pretty—he’s quite t’other thing!
He begs (with a spine vastly supple)        15
  She will study the Rose and the Ring.
 
It pleased the kind Wizard to send her
  The last and the best of his toys:
His heart had a sentiment tender
  For innocent women and boys;        20
And though he was great as a scorner,
  The guileless were safe from his sting:
How sad is past mirth to the mourner!—
  A tear on the Rose and the Ring!
 
She reads—I may vainly endeavor        25
  Her mirth-chequered grief to pursue;
For she hears she has lost—and for ever—
  A Heart that was known by so few:
But I wish on the shrine of his glory;
  One fair little blossom to fling;        30
And you see there’s a nice little story
  Attached to the Rose and the Ring!
 
 
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