Once

I SET a lily long ago;
I watched it whiten in the sun;
I loved it well, I had but one.
Then summer-time was done,
The wind came and the rain,
My lily bent, lay low.
Only the night-time sees my pain—
Alas, my lily long ago!

I had a rose-tree born in May;
I watched it burgeon and grow red,
I breathed the perfume that it shed.
Then summer-time had sped,
The frost came with its sleep
My rose-tree died away.
Only the silence hears me weep—
Alas, lost rose-tree! lost, lost May!

The garden's lily blows once more;
The buried rose will wake and climb;
There is no thought of rain and rime
After, next summer-time.
But the heart's blooms are weak;
Once dead for ever o'er.
Not night, not silence knows me seek
My joy that waned and blooms no more.

by Augusta Davies Webster

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