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The Queen-Rose—A Summer Idyl

The sunlight fell with a golden gleam
  On the waves of the rippling rill;
The pansies nodded their purple heads;
  But the proud queen-rose stood still.
She loved the light and she loved the sun,
And the peaceful night when the day was done,
But the faithless sun in his careless way
Had broken her heart on that summer's day.
She had bathed her soul in his warm sweet, rays,
  She had given her life to him;
And her crimson heart—it was his alone—
  Of love it was full to the brim.
But a fairer bud in the garden of love
Had conquered the heart of the king above;
And the proud queen-rose on that summer's day
Had given a love that was thrown away.
The pansies laughed in the summer breeze,
  For they were so happy and free;
And the lilies swayed in the waving grass,
  Like sails on an emerald sea.
But the sun glanced down with a mocking light,
And the heart of the rose stood still at the sight,
For never again with its love for him
Would her crimson heart be filled to the brim.
"Ah me!" she sighed, as she drooped her head,
  "How vain is my haughty will;
I sought to mate with the sun above,
  But lo! I am mortal still.
I envy the pansy that nods at my feet,
For though she is lowly, her life is sweet;
And I envy the lily, for she is glad,
And knows not the longings that make me sad."
A maiden sat where the pansies grew,
  In a golden shower of light;
And she heard the words of the sighing rose,
  Borne near in the wind's swift flight.
"Ah, rose!" she cried, "I am like to you;
There's never a heart in this world that's true;
I yielded a love that's thrown away,
And I'm weary of life on this summer's day.
"But listen, my rose, and I'll tell you, sweet,
  The lesson I learned to-day;
There's never a heart in this wide, wide world
  That was born to be thrown away.
The sun may smile as he sails away
In the depths of his azure seas for aye;
But the rose that blooms in the garden of love,
Is as fair as the sun to our God above.
"The smallest flower that slakes her thirst
  In the dews of the early morn,
Is as great as the stars in heaven above,
  The greatest that ever was born.
The love we give on this earth of ours
Is treasured in heaven through all the hours,
And the crimson heart of the proud queen-rose
Is as fair a gem as the earth-land knows."
The queen-rose listened and held her breath
  As the maiden passed her by,
And then, with a grace that was fearless and grand
  She lifted her face to the sky.
And never again, when the day was done,
Did she long for the love of the golden sun;
For the lesson she learned on that summer's day
Lay deep in her heart forever and aye.

Poem by Fannie Isabelle Sherrick
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