The Crown of Roses.

Familiar, yet from other lands, the pleasant echo comes,1
The quaint and olden mythic lore from distant vine-hung
Of galas in the greenwood shade, when on a festal-day,3
A fair rose-chaplet crowned the maid of whom the
elders say,
That she in virtue most excelled, her choice the ‘ better
part ;’
By whom the elders watched and prayed lest pride
might turn her heart,
While warning words the good priest spake, reminding
her of One
In whose most perfect life the grace of meekness
brightly shone.
The crown was formed of roses white—e’en so tradition
And it was treasured afterwards, and better loved than gold ;10
For when the summons came to those who owned the
valued prize,
And they had fallen asleep, released from earthly pangs
and sighs,
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
May we to incorruption wake, and an immortal crown !24