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Pushing the leaves and thorns apart, She singled out a rose, And in its inmost crimson heart, Enraptured, plunged her nose. Pigmy seraphs gone astray, Velvet people from Vevay, Belles from some lost summer day, Bees' exclusive coterie. Paris could not lay the fold Belted down with emerald; Venice could not show a cheek Of a tint so lustrous meek. Never such an ambuscade As of brier and leaf displayed For my little damask maid.

Top 10 Rose Poems |

I had rather wear her grace Than an earl's distinguished face; I had rather dwell like her Than be Duke of Exeter Royalty enough for me To subdue the bumble-bee! The rose did caper on her cheek, Her bodice rose and fell, Her pretty speech, like drunken men, Did stagger pitiful. Her fingers fumbled at her work, — Her needle would not go; What ailed so smart a little maid It puzzled me to know,. Till opposite I spied a cheek That bore another rose; Just opposite, another speech That like the drunkard goes;. A vest that, like the bodice, danced To the immortal tune, — Till those two troubled little clocks Ticked softly into one.

And fare thee weel, my only luve! And fare thee weel awhile! And I will come again, my luve, Though it were ten thousand mile. Clod of the earth, that hardly knows How the warm sun comes or the cold rain goes, That lieth dumb and bleak and bare, It was thy thought begat the rose. O Rose, thou art sick! The invisible worm, That flies in the night, In the howling storm,.

Has found out thy bed Of crimson joy; And his dark secret love Does thy life destroy. This is a holy refuge The garden of Saint Rose A fragrant altar to that peace The world no longer knows. Below a solemn hillside Within the folding shade Of overhanging beech and pine Its walls and walks are laid.

Cool through the heat of summer, Still as a sacred grove, It has the rapt unworldly air Of mystery and love. All day before its outlook The mist-blue mountains loom, And in its trees at tranquil dusk The early stars will bloom. Down its enchanted borders Glad ranks of color stand, Like hosts of silent seraphim Awaiting love's command. Lovely in adoration They wait in patient line, Snow-white and purple and deep gold About the rose-gold shrine.

Lorna Goodison

And there they guard the silence, While still from her recess Through sun and shade Saint Rose looks down In mellow loveliness. She seems to say, "O stranger, Behold how loving care That gives its life for beauty's sake, Makes everything more fair! There was laughter 'mid the Roses, For it was their natal day; And the children in the garden were As light of heart as they.


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There were sighs amid the Roses, For the night was coming on; And the children—weary now of play— Were ready to be gone. There are tears amid the Roses, For the children are asleep; And the silence of the garden makes The lonely blossoms weep.


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  4. I plucked a rose, a red rose rare, I placed her on a throne Within my heart; and there I dare To worship her alone. An idol, thus, I paid to her My constant vigil, love, and care. Upon my knees, I prayed to her, My whole heart in my prayer. I saw my heart filled with despair Her drooping head;. Her beauty, grace and fragrance flown, Her every leaf and petal shorn, I gazed in silence—and alone— Upon my dead. One merry summer day Two roses were at play; All at once they took a notion They would like to run away. Queer little roses; Funny little roses, To want to run away!

    They stole along my fence; They clambered up my wall; They climbed into my window To make a morning call! Queer little roses; Funny little roses, To make a morning call! Not thou, White rose, but thy Ensanguined sister is The dear companion of my heart's Shed blood. The rose thou show'st me has lost all its hue, For thou dost seem to me than it less fair; For when I look I turn from it to you, And feel the flower has been thine only care; Thou could'st have grown as freely by its side As spring these buds from out the parent stem,.

    But thou art from thy Father severed wide, And turnest from thyself to look at them, Thy words, do not perfume the summer air, Nor draw the eye and ear like this thy flower; No bees shall make thy lips their daily care, And sip the sweets distilled from hour to hour; Nor shall new plants from out thy scattered seed, O'er many a field the eye with beauty feed. O, why do I hold thee, my fair, only rose, My bright little treasure—so dear; And love thee a thousand times better than those, In thousands, that lately were here?

    Because, like a friend, when the many depart, As fortune's cold storms gather round, Till all from without chills the desolate heart, My sweet winter-flower, thou art found!


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    Because that for me thou hast budded and blown, I look with such fondness on thee; That, while I've no other, I call thee my own, And feel thou art living for me. I know thee. I've studied thy delicate form, Till reared from the root to the flower, That opens to-day, in a season of storm!

    To brighten so dreary an hour. How could I so lavishly scatter my sight On those, that the gay summer-sun Had nursed with his beams, when I find such delight In having and loving but one?

    And while thou dost modestly blush at the praise, That thus I in secret bestow, It heightens thy beauty, and only can raise The strain, high and higher to flow. Although thou must droop, as our dearest ones will, I'll tenderly watch thy decline; And, in thy sad moments, I'll cherish thee still, Because thou hast cheered me in mine. Then, hallowed like dust of a friend in the tomb, I'll lay thy pale leaves safe away, Where memory often shall give them the bloom That brightened my dark winter day.

    There was a maiden all forlorn, She loved a youth, his name was Thorn, But he was shy for to disclose How he loved dear the sweet May Rose. Lustre sweet it would give to Thorn, If this fair flower would it adorn, Said he all other names above Your charming name alone I love. Said she of beauty 'tis soon shorn, Unless that it is joined to Thorn, It very soon doth droop and die, And she heaved a gentle sigh. Said he we'll wed to morrow morn, No more from me you shall be torn, For you will banish all my woes, And near my heart I'll wear the rose.

    Now little rose buds they are born, All clinging to the parent Thorn, In grace and beauty each one grows, Full worthy of the sweet May Rose. Some flowers they only shed their bloom In the sweet month of leafy June, But May doth bloom each month in year A fragrant Rose forever dear. Where humming flies frequent, and where Pink petals open to the air. The wild-rose thicket seems to be The summer in epitome.

    Amid its gold-green coverts meet The late dew and the noonday heat;.

    The Last Rose of Summer

    Around it, to the sea-rim harsh, The patient levels of the marsh;. And o'er it pale the heavens bent, Half sufferance and half content. How sweet the sight of roses In English lanes of June, Where every flower uncloses To meet the kiss of noon. How strange the sight of roses— Roses both sweet and wild— Seen where a valley closes 'Mid mountain heights up-piled. Upon whose sides remaining Is strewn the purest snow, By its chill power restraining The tide of spring's soft glow. Yet God, who gave the pureness To yon fair mountain snow, Gives also the secureness Whereby these roses blow.

    Know you how roses came to grace the world? Within the "sea garden" itself are two other gardens, both of which taken together define clearly the exigencles of creation in this marginal world. In a sense it defines the "aesthetic" of creative apprehension and suffering within the sea garden.

    In the first part of the poem, a rose is again an image of beauty, but here it carries a sense of power as the untouchable, inaccessible thing that the poet desires, like the adamantine "rock roses" in H. The austerity and clarity of the image is compelling, and the speaker is drawn to its force. She imagines what she "could" do, what her power could be before this image, with increasingly conditional claims, until she admits her powerlessness before it.

    In this poem the rose is image, the object of the poet's desire; yet she cannot touch or possess it, cannot shatter its ice, but only witness to its radiance. Thus the poem dramatizes the aesthetic of H. As image, the male figure is highly liminal; his aspects of grace and power , as experienced by the poet, reside between nature and human artifice.

    This image has the "rare silver" of a resolved epiphany. The second part of "Garden" is the familiar poem "Heat. In both poems, too, the endurance of the moment is part of the necessary process of insight and making. The speaker asks the wind to "rend open the heat," cut it, plough through it, so that ripe fruit can drop.

    Of Roses and Poets has been added

    Thus in this essential garden both poems speak of salt suffering in terms of creative process, within which it is hard to bear attention to the potency of specific image and to be patient in the heated forging of the destined shape. This poem's first part reverses the unstable imagery of "Sea Rose," turning the rose into that ultimate Imagist form, rock:. The dripping fragrance of "Sea Rose" has here solidified into the color which can only be scraped from the surface of the rock.

    Nothing shifts, nothing grows, in this garden. All that remains is a desperate invocation to the wind which elsewhere in the volume whips the sea garden, transforming the dangers of that landscape. Ultimately, "Garden" is a poem about the terrible limitations H. With typical indirection, H. And through it all, it is the soul or mind of the poet, knowing within itself its problems, unanswerable; its Visions, cramped and stifled; the bitterness of its own insufficiency.