Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE ROLL OF THE ROSES, by NATHALIA CRANE



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THE ROLL OF THE ROSES, by            
First Line: We called the roll of the roses
Last Line: With a troubadour tolling a bell.
Subject(s): Flowers; Roses; Troubadours; Minnesingers


WE called the roll of the roses
And all of the front rank red,
Were present and ready for duty,
To serve with the living or dead.

We called the roll of the roses,
But where were the yellow and white?
With the troubadours on a terrace—
Somewhere secure in the night.

We break no pledge to the poppies
Or the culls of a country lane;
Our own were alone in denying
The levies we sought in vain.

Now who shall match us a color
In the talk of a kinship fair,
When none of the white or the yellow,
But only the red were there.

We called the roll of the roses
On the field where the roses fell;
And a distant down made answer
With a troubadour tolling a bell.





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