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THE LOVELIEST FACE AND THE WILD ROSE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: The loveliest face! I turned to her
Last Line: In the white being of one girl.
Subject(s): Beauty; Flowers; Roses

THE loveliest face! I turned to her
Shut in 'mid savage rocks and trees; --
'Twas in the May-time of the year,
And our two hearts were filled with ease --
And pointed where a wild-rose grew,
Suddenly fair in that grim place:
"We should know all, if we but knew
Whence came this flower, and whence -- this face."

The loveliest face! My thoughts went around:
"Strange sister of this little rose,
So softly 'scaped from underground;
O tell me if your beauty knows,
Being itself so fair a thing,
How came this lovely thing so fair,
How came it to such blossoming,
Leaning so strangely from the air?

"The wonder of its being born,
So lone and lovely -- even as you --
Half maiden-moon, half maiden-morn,
And delicately sad with dew;
How came it in this rocky place?
Or shall I ask the rose if she
Knows how this marvel of your face
On this harsh planet came to be?"

Earth's bluest eyes gazed into mine,
And on her head Earth's brightest gold
Made all the rocks with glory shine --
But still the secret went untold;
For rose nor girl, no more than I,
Their own mysterious meaning knew,
Save that alike from earth and sky
Each her enchanted being drew.

Both from deep wells of wonder sprang,
Both children of the cosmic dream,
Alike with yonder bird that sang,
And little lives that flit and gleam;
Sparks from the central rose of fire
That at the heart of being burns,
That draws the lily from the mire
And trodden dust to beauty turns.

Strange wand of Beauty -- that transforms
Old dross to dreams, that softly glows
On the fierce rainbowed front of storms,
And smiles on unascended snows,
That from the travail of lone seas
Wrests sighing shell and moonlit pearl,
And gathers up all sorceries
In the white being of one girl.

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