Art by George Lawrence Bulleid
The Lady and the Rose
by Edwin Leibfreed
The rose, my lady, that you wear,
It heard a whisper down the air.
It heard, and then it understood,
And in its daily habitude,
Remembered, gladly, why it grew,
That, only, it was meant for you.
No whisper ever more divine,
Could any rose-bud's heart enshrine.
It lived that only it might be
Your happiness and eulogy.
I wonder if it ever knew
The source in which its whisper grew
And who, above its cradled face,
Had kissed it with intent and place?
And was it some sweet angel dressed
In garments of divinest guest,
And breathing in its waiting heart
A tender message to impart?
My lady fair, the rose you wear
Gave up its life that you might care.
Think, as you breathe its odorous air,
Before you place it 'gainst your hair,
The sacrifice it gladly made
To linger where the tresses braid,
To make more beautiful your face,
And figure, now complete with grace!
A whisper, one day, come to me,
And with the rarest melody
It bade me grow, and falter not,
Since for sweet love was I begot.
Oh, lady fair, the rose you wear
Heard the same whisper down the air,
As came to me, one happy day,
That with you always, I should stay.
Come, take my heart that only grows
For you, as did the crimson rose.
For you it grew, and only you,
The angel of its faultless view.
You laid the whisper in its heart,
And never will its song depart.
It lived for this one happy day,
To come to you as roses may.
Divinely blessed is rose or man
That answers to love's whispered plan,
And gladly owns it paradise
To be love's perfect sacrifice.