A humble wild rose, pink and slender,
Was plucked and placed in a bright bouquet,
Beside a Jacqueminot's royal splendor,
And both in my lady's boudoir lay.
Said the haughty bud, in a tone of scorning,
"I wonder why you are called a rose?
Your leaves will fade in a single morning,
No blood of mine in your pale cheek glows.
"Your coarse green stalk shows dust of the highway,
You have no depths of fragrant bloom;
And what could you learn in a rustic byway
To fit you to lie in my lady's room?
"If called to adorn her warm white bosom,
What have you to offer for such a place
Beside my fragrant and splendid blossom,
Ripe with color and rich with grace ?"
Said the sweet wild rose : "Despite your dower
Of finer breeding and deeper hue,
Despite your beauty, fair, high-bred flower,
It is I who should lie on her breast, not you.
"For small account is your hot-house glory
Beside the knowledge that came to me
When I heard by the wayside love's old story,
And felt the kiss of the burrowing bee." --Ella Wheeler Wilcox .
The Evening Bulletin [Philadelphia] 25 Aug. 1905: 7.
Courtesy of John M. Freiermuth.
|Back to Poem Index|