A Rose in my garden, the sweetest and fairest,
Was hanging her head, through the long golden hours,
And early one morning I saw her tears falling,
And heard a low gossiping talk in the bowers.
The Fleur-de-leus, a spinster all faded,
Was telling a Lily what ailed the poor Rose.
"That wild roving bee who was hanging about her,
Has jilted her squarely, as everyone knows."
"I knew, when he came, with his singing and sighing,
With his airs, and his speeches, so fine, and so sweet,
Just how it would end; but no one would believe me,
For all were quite ready to fall at his feet."
"Indeed you are wrong," said the Lily belle proudly,
"I cared nothing for him; he called on me once,
And would have come often, no doubt, if I'd asked him,
But, though he was handsome, I thought him a dunce."
"Oh, oh, that's not true!" cried the tall Oleander,
"He has traveled, and seen every flower that grows.
And one who has supped in the garden of Princes,
We all might have known, would not wed with the Rose."
"But wasn't she proud, when she won his attentions,
And she let him caress her," said sly Mignonette.
"And I used to see it, and blush for her folly,
But the vain thing believes, he will come to her yet."
"I thought he was splendid," said pretty, pert Larkspur,
"So dark and so grand, with that gay cloak of gold.
But he tried once to kiss me, the impudent fellow,
And I got offended--I thought him too bold."
"Oh, fie!" laughed the Almond, "that does for a story;
Though I hang down my head, yet I see all that goes;
And I saw you reach out, smiling sweet, to detain him,
But he just tapped your cheek, and flew by to the Rose."
"He cared nothing for her, he only was flirting,
To while away time, as I very well knew.
So I turned a cold shoulder on all his advances,
Because I was certain his heart was untrue."
"The Rose is served right for her folly, in trusting
An oily tongued stranger," quoth proud Columbine,
"I knew what he was, and thought once I would warn her,
But you know the affair was no business of mine."
"Oh well!" cried the Peony, shrugging her shoulders,
"I saw all along, that the bee was a flirt.
But the Rose has been always so praised, and so petted,
I thought a good lesson would do her no hurt."
Just then came the sound of a love-song, sung sweetly,
I saw my sad Rose, lifting up her bowed head.
And the voice of the Gossips was hushed in a moment,
And the garden was still as the tomb of the dead.
For the dark glossy bee with his cloak o'er his shoulder,
Came swift o'er the meadow, and kissed the sweet Rose,
And whispered, "My darling, I've roamed the world over,
But nothing like thee, in the Universe grows."
Maurine by Ella Wheeler
Milwaukee: Cramer, Aikens & Cramer, 1876.
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