The Spell of the Rose


   'I mean to build a hall anon,
      And shape two turrets there,
      And a broad newelled stair,
And a cool well for crystal water;
   Yes; I will build a hall anon,
   Plant roses love shall feed upon,
      And apple trees and pear.'

   He set to build the manor-hall,
      And shaped the turrets there,
      And the broad newelled stair,
And the cool well for crystal water;
   He built for me that manor-hall,
   And planted many trees withal,
      But no rose anywhere.

   And as he planted never a rose
      That bears the flower of love,
      Though other flower's throve
A frost-wind moved our souls to sever
   Since he had planted never a rose;
   And misconceits raised horrid shows,
      And agonies came thereof.

   'I'll mend these miseries,' then said I,
      And so, at dead of night,
      I went and, screened from sight,
That nought should keep our souls in severance,
   I set a rose-bush. 'This,' said I,
   'May end divisions dire and wry,
      And long-drawn days of blight.'

   But I was called from earth -- yea, called
      Before my rose-bush grew;
      And would that now I knew
What feels he of the tree I planted,
   And whether, after I was called
   To be a ghost, he, as of old,
      Gave me his heart anew!

   Perhaps now blooms that queen of trees
      I set but saw not grow,
      And he, beside its glow --
Eyes couched of the mis-vision that blurred me --
   Ay, there beside that queen of trees
   He sees me as I was, though sees
      Too late to tell me so!


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