Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. V. Browning to Rupert Brooke
Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. V. Browning to Rupert Brooke
The Rose
By Isabella Valancy Crawford (1850–1887)
THE ROSE was given to man for this:
  He, sudden seeing it in later years,
Should swift remember Love’s first lingering kiss
  And Grief’s last lingering tears;
Or, being blind, should feel its yearning soul        5
  Knit all its piercing perfume round his own,
Till he should see on Memory’s ample scroll
  All roses he had known;
Or, being hard, perchance his finger-tips,
  Careless might touch the satin of its cup,        10
And he should feel a dead babe’s budding lips
  To his lips lifted up;
Or, being deaf and smitten with its star,
  Should, on a sudden, almost hear a lark
Rush singing up—the nightingale afar        15
  Sing thro’ the dew-bright dark;
Or, sorrow-lost in paths that round and round
  Circle old graves, its keen and vital breath
Should call to him within the yew’s bleak bound
  Of Life, and not of Death.        20

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