"Dear brother, dearest friend, when I am dead,
And you shall see no more this face of mine,
Let nothing but red roses be the sign
Of the white life I lost for him," she said;
"No, do not curse him,–pity him instead;
Forgive him!—forgive me! . . . God’s anodyne
For human hate is pity; and the wine
That makes men wise, forgiveness. I have read
Love's message, in love's murder, and I die."
And so they laid her just where she would lie,–
Under red roses. Red they bloomed and fell;
But when flushed autumn and the snows went by,
And spring came,—lo, from every bud's green shell
Burst a white blossom.—Can love reason why?
HORACE TO LEUCONOE
I Pray you not, Leuconoe, to pore
With unpermitted eyes on what may be
Appointed by the gods for you and me,
Nor on Chaldean figures any more.
'T were infinitely better to implore
The present only:—whether Jove decree
More winters yet to come, or whether he
Make even this, whose hard, wave-eaten shore
Shutters the Tuscan seas to-day, the last—
Be wise withal, and rack your wine, nor fill
Your bosom with large hopes; for while I sing,
The envious close of time is narrowing:—
So seize the day.—or ever it be past—
And let the morrow come for what it will.
OF DEAD FRIENDS
As we the withered ferns
By the roadway lying,
Time, the jester, spurns