AN ANSWER

If one should bring a rose that had been fair,
And very fragrant, and surpassing sweet
Before it lost its beauty in the heat
Of crowded ball-rooms or the gas-light's glare,
And beg of me to keep it in my hair
Or in my breast through all the coming hours,
Casting aside all fresher, brighter flowers
Which other hands might offer me to wear,
Would it not seem presumptuous?
                                        Yet you bring
The remnant of a heart that long ago
Burned all its fire to ashes; and you say,
"Keep this and cast all other hearts away."
I stooped and blew, and could not raise a glow;
Square in your face I throw your offering.

Poetical works of Ella Wheeler Wilcox. by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Edinburgh : W. P. Nimmo, Hay, & Mitchell, 1917.


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