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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

Rosa Mulholland

Love and Death

IN the wild autumn weather, when the rain was on the sea,

And the boughs sobbed together, Death came and spake to me:

“Those red drops of thy heart I have come to take from thee;

As the storm sheds the rose, so thy love shall broken be,”

Said Death to me.

Then I stood straight and fearless while the rain was in the wave,

And I spake low and tearless: “When thou hast made my grave,

Those red drops from my heart then thou shalt surely have;

But the rose keeps its bloom, as I my love will save

All for my grave.”

In the wild autumn weather a dread sword slipped from its sheath;

While the boughs sobbed together, I fought a fight with Death,

And I vanquished him with prayer, and I vanquished him by faith:

Now the summer air is sweet with the rose’s fragrant breath

That conquered Death.