Classic and Contemporary Poetry
WHY?, by MARY LOUISE RITTER
First Line: Why came the rose? Because the sun in shining
Last Line: Wherein is garnered what it is to live.
WHY came the rose? Because the sun, in shining,
Found in the mold some atoms rare and fine:
And, stooping, drew and warned them into growing, --
Dust, with the spirit's mystic countersign.
What made the perfume? All his wondrous kisses
Fell on the sweet red mouth, till, lost to sight,
The love became too exquisite, and vanished
Into a viewless rapture of the night.
Why did the rose die? Ah, why ask the question?
There is a time to love, a time to give;
She perished gladly, folding close the secret
Wherein is garnered what it is to live.
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