The Book of the Rose

by Charles G.D. Roberts


 

THE ROSE'S AVATAR


 

There grew a rose more wonderful
Than ever Saadi sang.
Its loveliness occult and strange,
A rapture and a pang.
Its petals had the pulsing touch
5
That shakes the blood with fire.
Its warm deeps were the avatar
Of unassuaged desire.
Hid scents and hushed seraglio dreams
Were in its subtle breath,
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The madness of the Mænad's joy,
The tenderness of death.
Its soul was all the mystic East,
Its heart was all the South,—
Till love and tears transmuted it
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To the dark rose of thy mouth.