Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ROSE PERENNIAL, by ABBIE FARWELL BROWN

Poetry Explorer

Classic and Contemporary Poetry

ROSE PERENNIAL, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: The worn gray slab yet lies before
Last Line: Clutched in vain as it reaches higher.
Subject(s): Flowers; Roses

THE worn gray slab yet lies before
What once was a thrifty farmer's door;
Now roofless cellar and scattered stones
Show skeleton hopes with time-picked bones.
Here backed against a crumbling wall
Still blooms at bay, unpruned and tall,
A soil-disdaining moss-rose bush,
The delicate buds in faintest flush,
Clutched by the brambles and woodbine,
Whose envious fingers tear and twine.

There was the huge barn; here the yard,
Where the grim farmer labored hard
From dawn to dark, and never knew
A dream beyond the crops he grew,
The stock he raised, the silver store
Under the loose board in the floor.

To and fro, to and fro,
The feet of his little wife would go,
All day long and half the night,
Up a flight and down a flight;
Pantry to kitchen, pen to barn,
Cellar to garret with loom of yarn;
In to the babies, out to the men,
Down to the pasture and back again.
Farms were never planned, you find,
To save the steps of womenkind.

One can trudge and drudge through a long life's course,
If she discover a hidden source
To seek when the spirit is faint and dry.

Here was her rosebush growing high,
That he never knew -- for he never cared;
This was her joy no mortal shared.
Her hands were never too stiff or tired
To foster beauty the soul desired;
The first shy green, the venturesome shoot,
Flushing sap from the sturdy root,
Moss-veiled bud and passionate bloom;
Scarlet hips for the winter gloom.

Never too worn the busy feet,
Never too dull the old heart's beat,
For a furtive trip to the little shrine
That made the moment a pause divine.

Here by the bush one glimpsed the Hills,
Where forests crooned and ran free rills;
One breathed deep draughts from a windswept sky,
Sunset, moonglow, mystery.

This was her rosebush by the wall.
Gone is the farmer, farm and all;
Gone herd and crops and silver store.
The children grown return no more
To the hearth deserted, the loveless place,
Haunted by one enduring grace;
A dream of beauty, torn with briar,
Clutched in vain as it reaches higher.

Other Poems of Interest...

Home: PoetryExplorer.net