The Roses Of La Garraye

Among the ruins of La Garraye
Grow wonderful roses, as pale as death, —
Roses that never a fervid breath
Of the Breton summer glad and gay
Can warm with a single crimson ray.

Mid ruins and roses two lovers sighed,
And talked of the old time far away
When the roses were red at La Garraye,
When the gay young lord and his fair young bride
Rode forth on their swift steeds, side by side,

And met the sudden and terrible blight —
Like the lightning flash from a summer cloud
Followed by thunder long and loud —
That turned, in an instant, their noon to night,
And slew, not Love, but Love's delight.

And they pitied those lovers of long ago —
These modern lovers that told the tale —
And honored the love that could not fail:
And she said, — " My dear, do you love me so? "
And he, — " Do you love me , and do not know? "

Then he gathered those blossoms of ruin and blight,
And — " I give you the roses of Love, " said he:
" No, you give me the roses of Death, " said she,
" The roses that spring from sorrow and night,
For love and for living too coldly white. "

She shuddered a little, yet pinned them fast —
The pallid roses of Fate were they,
And died at the close of a brief bright day,
Like a brief bright love that came and passed,
Leaving only its ghost at last.
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