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Frederick Locker-Lampson (Фредерик Локер-Лэмпсон)


The Enchanted Rose


“O where dost thou trip it,” the patriarch said,
“A Rose in thy bosom so daintily laid?
A pilgrim, whose shadow extends to the tomb,
Would gaze on its beauty, would breathe its perfume!”

“O raise not thy hand,” cried the maid, “nor suppose
I ever can part with this beautiful Rose;
The bloom is a gift of the fays, who declare it
Will shield me from sorrow as long as I wear it.

And sigh not, old man, such a doleful ‘heigh-ho,’
Dost think I possess not the will to say, ‘No’?
And shake not thy head, I could pitiless be
Should supplicants come even younger than thee.”

The damsel pass’d on with a confident smile,
The old man extended his walk for a while,
His musings were trite, and their burthen, forsooth,
The wisdom of age, and the folly of youth.

Noon comes, and noon goes, paler twilight is there;
Rosy day dons the garb of a Penitent Fair;
The patriarch strolls in the path of the maid,
Where cornfields are ripe, and awaiting the blade.

And Echo was mute to the patriarch’s tread,—
“How tranquil is Nature!” that patriarch said;
He onward advances, where boughs overshade
A lonelier spot, and the barley is laid.

He gazes around, not a creature is there,
No sound upon earth, and no voice in the air;
But fading there lies a poor bloom that he knows,
Neglected, unheeded—a beautiful Rose.



Frederick Locker-Lampson's other poems:
  1. The Old Clerk
  2. The Widow’s Mite
  3. The Cradle
  4. The Russet Pitcher
  5. Phœbe, the Nymph of the Well


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