Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ROSE DARNLEY, by GEORGE SANTAYANA



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ROSE DARNLEY, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: She stood above the flooded stream
Last Line: She folds her hands, and he departs.
Subject(s): Rejection; Reunions


She stood above the flooded stream,
Alone amid the ruin there,
Stood dreaming as a rose might dream,
Half open in the sunless air,
If once the salt sea wind of fate
Had touched her beauty with despair.
Look, child, your lover's at the gate.
See, 'tis not death that knocks to-day;
He's come, he's come, for whom you wait.
Have you no tenderer word to say
To one so faithful to his troth?
Duty has doubly hedged his way,
And sweet foreknowledge bound you both,
Silent and strong, this many a year.
Is it your youth that makes you loth,
Or his home-coming that you fear,
Had he but plucked this whitest rose
To lay a white rose on his bier?
If in your heart, before he goes,
His heart could shed one drop of blood,
Your trembling petals, as they close,
Might bloom, and be a crimson bud.
At last she spoke: "Our spirits move
Like snake-weeds writhing in the flood.
Men marry as their fortunes prove.
The times have laid on our two hearts
The pity, not the joy, of love."
She folds her hands, and he departs.





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