Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, OVER THE ROSE-LEAVES, UNDER THE ROSE, by JOHN BENNETT (1865-1956)

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OVER THE ROSE-LEAVES, UNDER THE ROSE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Why did you say you loved me then
Last Line: Or make it bloom again?
Subject(s): Flowers; Gardens & Gardening; Love; Marriage; Roses; Weddings; Husbands; Wives

WHY did you say you loved me then,
If this must be the end?
Can so much more than lover be
So much less than friend?
You say "Suppose we had not met"
Beneath this Provence rose:
Suppose we had not loved at all!
Suppose, dear heart, suppose?

Suppose beside some common road
There bloomed a common rose,
As this one crimsons all the air
Within the garden close.
Suppose you plucked it, passing by,
And spread its petals wide,
Until the sweetness of its heart
Filled all the country-side.

Suppose you wore it on your breast
One careless summer day;
Suppose you kissed it once — or twice —
To pass the time away,
Then tore it slowly leaf by leaf,
As I have torn this rose,
Until you bared its very soul.
You would not? Well, suppose!

Suppose you stripped its very soul
Down to life's golden core,
Till heart and life and soul were yours,
And there was nothing more
A rose could give to please your sense
Or win a passing smile;
Then dropped it in the pathway — thus —
No longer worth your while.

And then — suppose those scattered leaves
Were days we two have shared —
You need not say you counted them;
You need not say you cared —
Could all the counting, all the care,
Or all my foolish pain
Put that one rose together, dear,
Or make it bloom again?

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