Behind the Roses.

Down in a dell in the west countrie,1
’Mid bowers that slope to the sunny sea,2
There stands a cottage on the lawn,3
Full in the flush of the early dawn.4
Over the porch the roses creep,5
In at the windows the roses peep ;6
O’er all the place there seems to brood7
The spirit of happy solitude.8
Here would I dwell,” thinks Beauty bright !9
Dreaming at noon of her heart’s delight !10
And here,” says Care, “ I’d build my nest,11
Far from the world and be at rest !”12
Open the door behind the flowers !13
Tread softly through to the inner bowers !14
And there you’ll find a lady fair,15
Pining under a load of care.16
A lovely woman, wed to a loon,17
Unworthy to wipe her sandal shoon18
Loveless, childless, wasting away,19
For want of a mate on her wedding day.20
Blossom, ye roses on her path !21
Few and short are the joys she hath !22
Feast her eyes with beauty and bloom,23
Bathe her senses in sweet perfume !24
You and the gentle spirits of song,25
That haunt her harp when the day seems long,26
Are all she hath (were her story told),27
To keep her heart from growing cold.28