BETA

The Crown of Roses.

Familiar, yet from other lands, the pleasant echo comes,1
The quaint and olden mythic lore from distant vine-hung
homes,
2
Of galas in the greenwood shade, when on a festal-day,3
A fair rose-chaplet crowned the maid of whom the
elders say,
4
That she in virtue most excelled, her choice the ‘ better
part ; ’
5
By whom the elders watched and prayed lest pride
might turn her heart,
6
While warning words the good priest spake, reminding
her of One
7
In whose most perfect life the grace of meekness
brightly shone.
8
The crown was formed of roses white—e’en so tradition
told
9
And it was treasured afterwards, and better loved than gold ;10
For when the summons came to those who owned the
valued prize,
11
And they had fallen asleep, released from earthly pangs
and sighs,
12
Reposing with a placid smile within their narrow bed,13
The faded wreath again was placed beside the honoured dead,14
Exhaling perfume rich as if from freshly-gathered flowers,15
Pervading all the quiet room before the burial-hours.16
O pleasant legendary lore—memorial pure and sweet17
Melodiously in simple rhyme the listener’s ear to greet ;18
As fancy swift each void can fill, and humble faith may dare,19
The myth to realise as one in which we claim a share,20
For oral repetition when the stars rejoice our sight,21
And angels hover o’er the fold as day dissolves in night :22
And when night comes—the night of death in its corrup-
tion sown
23
May we to incorruption wake, and an immortal crown !24