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FLOWER AND THORN, by             Poem Explanation     Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography
First Line: At shiraz, in a sultan's garden, stood
Last Line: Seem to thee like may, dear!
Subject(s): Flowers; Thorns


TO L. A.

I.

AT Shiraz, in a sultan's garden, stood
A tree whereon a curious apple grew,
One side like honey, and one side like rue.

Thus sweet and bitter is the life of man,
The sultan said, for thus together grow
Bitter and sweet, but wherefore none may know.

Herewith together you have flower and thorn,
Both rose and brier, for thus together grow
Bitter and sweet, but wherefore none may know.

II.

Take them and keep them,
Silvery thorn and flower,
Plucked just at random
In the rosy weather --
Snowdrops and pansies,
Sprigs of wayside heather,
And five-leaved wild-rose
Dead within an hour.

Take them and keep them:
Who can tell? some day, dear,
(Though they be withered,
Flower and thorn and blossom,)
Held for an instant
Up against thy bosom,
They might make December
Seem to thee like May, dear!





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