Did the wee white rose ever think of her lonely life,
That there were none to care if she tried to grow;
None to care if the cloud that hung in the west
Should burst, and scatter her pale leaves far and low?
Did she ever wish that the heavy cloud would fall
And hide her, so unblest, from the sight of all?
One sky bends o’er rich garden flowers, and
That dwell in barren soil, untended and unblest;
And I think that God was pleased with the small white rose,
That tried so patiently to live and do its best;
That bravely kept its small leaves pure and fair
On the waste of dreary sand, and the desert air.
She lay asleep, and her face shone white
As under a snowy veil,
And the waxen hands clasped on her breast
Were full of snowdrops pale;
But a holy calm touched the baby lips,
The brow, and the sleeping eyes,
The look of an angel pitying us
From the peace of Paradise.
And now though she lies ’neath the coffin-lid,
We cannot think her dead;
But we think of her as of some delicate bird
To a milder country fled.
’Twas a long, dark flight for our gentle dove,
Our bird so tender and fair;
But we know she has reached the summer land
And folded her white wings there.
I am thinking of fern forests that once did towering
Crowning all the barren mountains, shading all the dreary land.
Oh, the dreadful, quiet brooding, the solitude sublime,
That reigned like shadowy spectres o’er the third
great day of time.
In long, low lines the tideless seas on dull gray
shores did break,
No song of bird, no gleam of wing, o’er wood or reedy lake—
No flowers perfumed the pulseless air, no stars, no
moon, no sun
To tell in silver language, night was past, or day was done.
Only silence rising with the ghostly morning’s
Silence, silence, settling down upon the moonless, starless night.
And the ferns, and giant mosses, noiseless sentinels
Looking o’er the tideless ocean, watching o’er the dreary land.
Ferns gave place to glowing olives, and clusters dropping
Mosses changed to oaken tissues, and cleft to fragrant pine.
Deft and noiseless fingers toiled, and wrought the
Through countless ages moulding earth for the abode of man.
Till each imperial day was bound by sunset’s
The purple columns of the night crowned with the shining stars.
The ripe fruit seeks the sunlight through all the
The earth is decked with golden maize, and costly yellow sheaves.
Countless silent centuries passed in fashioning good
that doth appear,
Shall we weary and grow hopeless, waiting for the Golden Year?