Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > The New Poetry: An Anthology
Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  The New Poetry: An Anthology.  1917.
12. Barberries
By Mary Aldis
YOU say I touch the barberries
As a lover his mistress?
What a curious fancy!
One must be delicate, you know—
They have bitter thorns.        5
You say my hand is hurt?
Oh no, it was my breast,
It was crushed and pressed.
I mean—why yes, of course, of course—
There is a bright drop—isn’t there?—        10
Right on my finger;
Just the color of a barberry,
But it comes from my heart.
Do you love barberries?
In the autumn        15
When the sun’s desire
Touches them to a glory of crimson and gold?
I love them best then.
There is something splendid about them:
They are not afraid        20
Of being warm and glad and bold;
They flush joyously,
Like a cheek under a lover’s kiss;
They bleed cruelly
Like a dagger wound in the breast;        25
They flame up madly for their little hour,
Knowing they must die.
Do you love barberries?


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