Ah! life, dear life, thy summer days have flown
Swiftly yet all too late, for they did wither.
Joy should be joy for one short hour alone,
Or it will lose its loveliness for ever.
I did not spare to use the cruel knife,
But cut the rose as soon as it was day,
And gave it to my love. Its little life
Passed, like a sigh, from Nature's breast away.
Full--hearted flower, thou didst not shrink nor flee
When the steel touched thee. No sad memories
Made what thou knew not terrible to thee,
And death came on thee like a sad surprise.
Too happy flower! I would my love had died
At unawares, by such a death as thine.
I should have slain my love in its full pride,
So had it lived and been for ever mine,
A treasure for all joy to ponder on,
Laid up for aye in old Time's palaces,
A ``thing of beauty'' which my soul had won,
And death had made undying with a kiss.
Wilfrid Scawen Blunt