Wild Roses

ON long, serene midsummer days
Of ripening fruit and yellowed grain,
How sweetly, by dim woodland ways,
In tangled hedge or leafy lane,
Fair wild rose thickets, you unfold
Those pale pink stars with hearts of gold!
Your sleek patrician sisters dwell
On lawns where gleams the shrub’s trim bosk,
In terraced gardens, tended well,
Near pebbled walk and quaint kiosk.
In costliest urns their colors rest;
They beam on beauty’s fragrant breast!
But you in lowly calm abide,
Scarce heeded save by breeze or bee;
You know what splendor, pomp, and pride
Full oft your brilliant sisters see;
What sorrow, too, and bitter fears;
What mad farewells and hopeless tears!
How some are kept in old, dear books,
That once in bridal wreaths were worn;
How some are kissed, with tender looks,
And later tossed aside with scorn;
How some their taintless petals lay
On icy foreheads pale as they!
So, while these truths you vaguely guess,
Abloom in many a lonesome spot,
Shy roadside roses, may you bless
The fate that rules your modest lot,
Like rustic maids that meekly stand
Below the ladies of their land!
Edgar Fawcett.