The golden hinges of the year have turned—
Spring, and the summer, and the harvest time
Have come, and gone; and on the threshold stands
The withered Winter, stretching forth his hands
To take my rose from me;—which he will wear
On his bleak bosom, all the bitter months
While the earth and I remain disconsolate.
My rose!—with the soft vesture of her leaves,
Gathered all round the secrets of her heart
In crimson fragrant folds,—within her bower
Of fair fresh green, guarded with maiden thorns.
O withered Winter! keep my blossom safe!
Thou shalt not kiss her with thy blue cold lips,
Nor pinch her in thy bony grip,—nor drop
More than one tiny sparkling diamond,
From thy cold carcanet, upon her cheek:
But lay soft snow fur round her—and above
Her precious head, make thy skies blue and clear,
And set her in the sun;—O withered Winter!
Be tender of my rose, and harm her not.
Alas, my flower, farewell!
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