I am weary of the Garden,|
Said the Rose;
For the winter winds are sighing,
All my playmates round me dying,
And my leaves will soon be lying
'Neath the snows.
But I hear my Mistress coming,
Said the Rose;
She will take me to her chamber,
Where the honeysuckles clamber,
And I'll bloom there all December
Spite the snows.
Sweeter fell her lily finger
Than the bee!
Ah, how feebly I resisted,
Smoothed my thorns, and e'en assisted
As all blushing I was twisted
Off my tree.
And she fixed me in her bosom
Like a star;
And I flashed there all the morning,
Jasmin, honeysuckle scorning
Parasites forever fawning
That they are.
And when evening came she set me
In a vase
All of rare and radiant metal,
And I felt her red lips settle
On my leaves til each proud petal
Touched her face.
And I shone about her slumbers
Like a light
And, I said, instead of weeping,
In the garden vigil keeping,
Here I'll watch my Mistress sleeping
But when morning with its sunbeams
In the mirror where she braided
Her brown hair I saw how jaded,
Old and colorless and faded,
I had grown.
Not a drop of dew was on me,
From my leaves no odors started,
All my perfume had departed,
I lay pale and broken-hearted
In the sun.
Still I said, her smile is better
Than the rain;
Though my fragrance may forsake me,
To her bosom she will take me,
And with crimson kisses make me
So she took me . . . gazed a second . . .
Half a sigh . . .
Then, alas, can hearts so harden?
Without ever asking pardon,
Threw me back into the garden,
There to die.
How the jealous garden gloried
In my fall!
How the honeysuckle chid me,
How the sneering jasmins bid me
Light the long gray grass that hid me
Like a pall.
There I lay beneath her window
In a swoon,
Till the earthworm o'er me trailing
Woke me just at twilight's failing,
As the whip-poor-will was wailing
To the moon
But I hear the storm-winds stirring
In their lair;
And I know they soon will lift me
In their giant arms and sift me
Into ashes as they drift me
Through the air.
So I pray them in their mercy
Just to take
From my heart of hearts, or near it,
The last living leaf, and bear it
To her feet, and bid her wear it
For my sake.