Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, HEART SONGS, by CORA RANDALL FABBRI

Poetry Explorer

Classic and Contemporary Poetry

HEART SONGS, by                
First Line: On the wall there clambered a wild white rose
Last Line: What rose is living—what rose is dead?

ON the wall there clambered a wild white rose,
A wild white rose with a dainty face;
She climbed and climbed, till with even's close
She reached a window. Perhaps—who knows?—
She had chosen that as her resting-place,
For there at the casement she crept, until
Her head drooped over the window-sill.

And in the window, through all the Spring,
There hung a bird in a sad repose.
Said the wond'ring rose: "Dost thou never sing?"
Said the mournful bird: "But of what sweet thing
Shall I make my song? Oh, thou foolish rose!
Shall I sing the loneness that all days hold,
Or my captive state in this cage of gold?

"The skylark sings to the rosy dawn;
The nightingale sings to the silver stars.
I never look on the early morn,
And when at even the stars are born,
I see them only across these bars;
And so," said the bird in the window-sill,
"I am always mournful and always still."

And the wild white rose, as the bird's grief hushed,
Widened her petals so far apart
Against the prison of gold they brushed,
And the dainty face of the white rose blushed
Till the pale pink faded into her heart.
The white rose blushed as she murmured: "See!
Am I not so fair you can sing for me?"

Then a great joy came to the little bird—
A joy that spilled from his quiv'ring throat
In sweetest music was ever heard;
The hearts that listened were strangely stirred
By the love and passion in every note.
"Whence cometh this music?" they said. "Who knows?"
But no one noticed the wild white rose.

When Autumn swept, with her brown-breast thrush,
And her robes aflame, o'er the distant hill,
To set on fire each tree and bush,
In the little cage reigned a mournful hush,
And the small brown bird was sad and still.
"Whence cometh this silence? Who knows?" they said;
But no one noticed the rose was dead.

Who knows? "This singer sings sweet," you say,
"Across his prison of grief and pain.
Why does he sing so? His skies are gray,"
Or, "This one," you whisper, "is still to-day,
And his music will never flow again."
Who knows the reason?
But who has said
What rose is living—what rose is dead?

Discover our poem explanations - click here!

Other Poems of Interest...

Home: PoetryExplorer.net