Verse > Anthologies > Fuess and Stearns, eds. > The Little Book of Society Verse
Fuess and Stearns, comps.  The Little Book of Society Verse.  1922.
The Rose
By William Cowper
THE ROSE had been wash’d, just wash’d in a shower,
    Which Mary to Anna conveyed;
The plentiful moisture encumber’d the flower
    And weigh’d down its beautiful head.
The cup was all fill’d, and the leaves were all wet,        5
    And it seem’d, to a fanciful view,
To weep for the bud 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 drown’d,        10
And swinging it rudely, too rudely, alas!
    I snapp’d it, it fell to the ground.
“And such,” I exclaim’d, “is the pitiless part
    Some act by the delicate mind,
Regardless of wringing and breaking a heart        15
    Already to sorrow resign’d.
“This elegant rose, had I shaken it less,
    Might have bloom’d with its owner awhile;
And the tear that is wiped with a little address,
    May be follow’d perhaps by a smile.”        20

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