THE PATH OF ROSES.
"Where no vain marble mockery
Insults with loud and boastful lie
The simple soldier's memory:
"Where sometimes little children go,
And read, in whisper'd accent slow,
The name of him who sleeps below."
Her voice died out: like one in dreams she sat.
"Alas!" she sighed. "For what can Woman do?
Her life is aimless, and her death unknown:
Hemmed in by social forms she pines in vain.
Man has his work, but what can Woman do?"
And answer came there from the creeping gloom,
The creeping gloom that settled into night:
"Peace! For thy lot is other than a man's:
His is a path of thorns: he beats them down:
He faces death: he wrestles with despair.
Thine is of roses, to adorn and cheer
His lonely life, and hide the thorns in flowers."
She spake again: in bitter tone she spake:
"Aye, as a toy, the puppet of an hour,