There was a rose-bush in a garden growing,
Its tender leaves unfolding day by day;
The sun looked-on, and his down-going
Left it amid the starlit dusk of nights of May.
The dew-drop came and kissed it in the gloaming;
It gathered sweetness in the morning hours;
The bee beheld it as he went aroaming,
And thought, 'What honey will be hidden in its flowers!'
The light grew richer and the days grew long;
The May-time deepened into June;
The air was laden with the robin's song,
The light wind touched the leaves and set them atune.
And now a tiny bud appeared, and then another--
Bright promises of radiant flowers;
The breezes, whispering, told it to each other,
The rose-bush heard them in the gladsome hours.
New Hope awoke and thrilled in all it veins;
Life is so sweet that culminates in flowers!
It smiled and grew in misty summer rains,
And caught the freshness of the evening showers.
And oft the gardener came and stood beside;
He tended it alway with zealous care,
Watching lest any evil should betide,
Or blight creep o'er the leaves that grew so fair.
He crushed the buds and dropped them on the ground;
The rose-bush felt a chill in every vein;
It drooped, as if to hide each bitter wound--
This strange experience was its earliest thought of pain.
'Poor little plant,' the gardener thought,
Thou art too young, too young to know
That few buds unto flowers are brought,--
It is by pruning thou must grow.'
And still the summer smiled and shoned,
And other roses bloomed and died.
'Mine would more beauteously have blown,'
The little rose-bush sadly sighed.
Again the gardener sought his flowers,
Where he had watched his treasures blow:
The autumn blast has swept the bowers,
The winds and storms has laid them low!
Though sad of heart, the rose-bush still was green;
It lifted up its drooping head;
'The life that would have filled the buds may still be seen,
'Tis folded in its heart,' he said.
He stooped and took it from the ground
All trembling with its vague alarms,
And quick and tenderly he wrapped it round,
And kindly bore it in his arms.
And now where soft the sunshine flows,
Within a fair, immortal bower,
In all its fragrant beauty blooms the rose,
Its every bud grown into perfect flower.
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