Maurice Thompson

Between The Poppy And The Rose

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How tired! Eight hours of racking work,
With sharp vexations shot between!
Scant wages and few kindly words,--
How gloomy the whole day has been!
But here is home. The garden shines,
And over it the soft air flows;
A mist of chastened glory hangs
Between the poppy and the rose.


The poppy red as ruby is,
The rose pale pink, fullblown, and set
Amid the dark rich leaves that form
The strong vine's royal coronet;
And half-way o'er from this to that,
In a charmed focus of repose,
Two rare young faces, lit with love,
Between the poppy and the rose.


Sweet little Jessie, two years old,
Dear little Mamma, twenty-four,
Together in the garden walk
While evening sun-streams round them pour.
List! Mamma murmurs baby-talk!
Hush! Jessie's talk to laughter glows!
They both look heavenly sweet to me,
Between the poppy and the rose.


Two flakes of sunshine in deep shade,
Two diamonds set in rougher stone,
Two songs with harp accompaniment
Across a houseless desert blown,--
No, nothing like this vision is;
How deep its innocent influence goes,
Sweeter than song or power or fame,
Between the poppy and the rose!


Between the poppy and the rose,
A bud and blossom shining fair,
A childlike mother and a child,
Whose own my very heart-throbs are!
Oh, life is sweet, they make it so;
Its work is lighter than repose:
Come anything, so they bloom on
Between the poppy and the rose.

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Maurice Thompson