Poetry of Kansas

The Lonely Rose Tree.

A rose-tree once grew beside a stone wall,
    I happened one morning to spy her,
And stopped to gather a sweet, half-blown bud
    Whose beauty I could but admire,
When there.came a low whisper which caused me to
    Just as I turned to pass by her.
"I'm lonely" she murmured, and all the sweet buds
    Echoed, sighingly, "Lonely. so lonely,"
"O, why? tell me why, that I stand here alone__
    Where there should be two, there's one only;
The whole world is full of rose-trees I know,
    Then why am I left to be lonely?"
"Why, here is a neighbor," I said as I waved
    My hand toward a Moonflower near by,
"A handsome companion, right here at your side,
    Indeed, you've no reason to cry
In that bitter plaint. Why, to hear you complain
    One would think you were ready to die."
"A companion? she cried, and each blossom shook
    In grief or in anger or fright,
"We haven't a thought in common," she said,
    "We're unlike as darkness and light:
While I love the sunshine, he loves the shade__
    While I love the day, he loves the night."
"O no, it is one of my own kind," she sighed,
    "That I long for with such bitter pain,
Who will bloom when I bloom, and fade when I fade,
    And put forth when my leaves come again;
Who will lift up his head and waft fragrance to me
    When cometh the soft, summer rain."
Last summer I passed the old wall again,
    But no rose did I spy, not a leaf,
The rose-tree was dead. I learned when I asked
    The gardener, aged and deaf,
"She just pined and died," he said, but I knew
    he had eaten her heart out with grief.

__Mrs. Ella Goodwin, Ludell.

Poets and Poetry of Kansas
Edited by Thomas W. Herringshaw
(Chicago: American Publishers' Association. 1894)
Page 144

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August 17, 2002 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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