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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Henry Willard Austin (1858–1912)

Two Dreams

IF a Rose could sing

In just one song

All it dreamed of spring

Through the winter long,

Would it pray the zephyr to lend its tone,

Or the brook, that maketh a mimic moan

Over some cruel hard-hearted stone?

Or the mating bird, who sings his best

On the bough that shadows his covert nest?

Ah, no, my Beautiful! thine alone

Of all the music to Echo known,

Thy sweet soprano, with silvery ring,

Would be the voice

Of its loving choice,

If a Rose could sing!

Could I be a Rose for a sweet, swift hour,—

A passionate, purple, perfect flower,—

Not a breath would I spare to the vagrant air,

For the woodland warbler I would not care:

But oh! if my human lover came,

Then would I blush like a heart of flame,—

Like a heart of flame I would send a sigh,

A note of perfume, when he drew nigh,

That should make him take me ere bees could sip,

That should woo him to me with bloomy lip;

Till, his kisses culling the flower of me,

My petals close on his lips would close,

And—once more a Woman I think I’d be

Could I be a Rose!