Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895
Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895.  1895.
Rosa Rosarum
Agnes Mary Frances Darmesteter (b. 1857)
GIVE me, O friend, the secret of thy heart
  Safe in my breast to hide,
So that the leagues which keep our lives apart
  May not our souls divide.
Give me the secret of thy life to lay        5
  Asleep within my own,
Nor dream that it shall mock thee any day
  By any sign or tone.
Nay, as in walking through some convent-close,
  Passing beside a well,        10
Oft have we thrown a red and scented rose
  To watch it as it fell;
Knowing that never more the rose shall rise
  To shame us, being dead;
Watching it spin and dwindle till it lies        15
  At rest, a speck of red—
Thus, I beseech thee, down the silent deep
  And darkness of my heart,
Cast thou a rose; give me a rose to keep,
  My friend, before we part.        20
For, as thou passest down thy garden-ways,
  Many a blossom there
Groweth for thee: lilies and laden bays,
  And rose and lavender.
But down the darkling well one only rose        25
  In all the year is shed;
And o’er that chill and secret wave it throws
  A sudden dawn of red.


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