Said the Rose
No flower hath so fair a face as this pale love of mine;
When he bends down to kiss my heart, my petals try to twine
About his lips to hold them fast. He is so very fair,
My lover with the pale, sad face and forest-fragrant hair.
I think it is a pleasant place, this garden where I grow,
With gravel walks and grassy mounds and crosses in a row.
There is no toil nor worry here, nor clatter of the street,
And here each night my lover comes, pale, sad and very sweet.
He never heeds the violets or lilies tall and white;
I am his love, his only love, his Flower of Delight;
And often when the cold moonbeams are lying all around
My lover kneels the whole night through beside me on the ground.
How can I miss the sunshine-laden breezes of the south
When all my heart is burning with the kisses of his mouth?
How can I miss the coming of the comfort-bringing rain
When his hot tears are filling me with heaven-sweet love-pain?
There is a jealous little bird that envies me my love,
He sings this bitter, bitter song from his brown nest above:
“Was ever yet a mortal man who wed a flower wife?
He loves the girl down in your roots whose dead breast gives you life.”
O little bird, O jealous bird, fly off and cease your chatter!
My lover is my lover, and what can a dead girl matter?
In his hot kisses and sweet tears I shall my petals steep;
I am his love, his only love, I have his heart to keep.

Webpage © 2001 ELC
Lane Core Jr. (
Created April 5, 2001; not revised.