Red And White Roses

Roses the lover gives to his love;
Roses we lay on the breast of death
That nevermore fondest whisper can move, —
Which is the sweeter, answer and prove,
Passionate love, or sleep without breath?

For love you burn with a crimson fire,
For death you are pale as the winter's snow:
Warm for the one, with the heart's desire,
Cold for the other, since hopes expire, —
Which is the sweeter? When shall we know?
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