Henry Timrod

The Messenger Rose

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If you have seen a richer glow,
Pray, tell me where your roses blow!
Look! coral-leaved! and -- mark these spots
Red staining red in crimson clots,
Like a sweet lip bitten through
In a pique. There, where that hue
Is spilt in drops, some fairy thing
Hath gashed the azure of its wing,
Or thence, perhaps, this very morn,
Plucked the splinters of a thorn.

Rose! I make thy bliss my care!
In my lady's dusky hair
Thou shalt burn this coming night,
With even a richer crimson light.
To requite me thou shalt tell --
What I might not say as well --
How I love her; how, in brief,
On a certain crimson leaf
In my bosom, is a debt
Writ in deeper crimson yet.
If she wonder what it be --
But she'll guess it, I foresee --
Tell her that I date it, pray,
From the first sweet night in May.

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Henry Timrod