The Coquette's Defence

Red, red roses glowing in the garden,
Rare, white lilies swaying on your stalks,
Did you hear me pray my sweet love for pardon,
Straying with him through your garden walks?

Ah, you glow and smile when the sun shines upon you—
You thrill with delight at the tears of the dew,
And the wind that caresses you boasts that he won you—
Do you think, fair flowers, to them all to be true?

Sun, dew, and wind, ah, they all are your lovers—
Sun, dew, and wind, and you love them back again—
And you flirt with the idle, white moth that hovers
Above your sweet beauty, and laugh at his pain.

Must I, then, be deaf to the wooers that love me,
And because I can hear should my sweet Love complain?
Does he not, in forgiving me, stand high above me,
And punish my fault with his gentle disdain?

You trifle, fair flowers, with the many, but one lord
Wooes you, and wins you, and conquers the throng:
Dews and winds cool you, for warmth you turn sun-ward,—
You know and I know to whom we belong.
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