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Dearest, forgive that with my clumsy touch
 I broke and bruised your rose.
 I hardly could suppose
It were a thing so fragile that my clutch
 Could kill it, thus.

It stood so proudly up upon its stem,
 I knew no thought of fear,
 And coming very near
Fell, overbalanced, to your garment's hem,
 Tearing it down.

Now, stooping, I upgather, one by one,
 The crimson petals, all
 Outspread about my fall.
They hold their fragrance still, a blood-red cone
 Of memory.

And with my words I carve a little jar
 To keep their scented dust,
 Which, opening, you must
Breathe to your soul, and, breathing, know me far
 More grieved than you.

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1924.


The author died in 1925, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 80 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.