A rose I cull for thee, one royal flower
Blooming alone, in regal pride apart;
Summer's last breath and her last golden hour
Nested together in its crimson heart.
One moment to its leaves my lips are pressed,
Thou'lt find the kiss because it comes from me;
One moment it has blushed upon my breast,
And bears from thence a freight of love to thee.
And where the pressure of my warm lip glows,
Thrilling the blossom with a human bliss,
A tear is gleaming, too, because the rose
That comes from me cannot return thy kiss.
Hard iron miles now hold our lives apart,
Long leagues of ocean waves between us moan;
Go, rose, crowned with my love, unto a heart
Thoul't find, as mine is left, alone! alone!
And when it comes to thee, all cold and crushed,
The color dying on its crimson crest,
Where'er the faded leaves are deepest flushed,
Well wilt thou know that there my lips were pressed,
And inward, where the golden petals shine,
If lingers yet the incense of its breath,
Thou'lt say, perchance, that one sad tear of mine
Embalmbed the sweetness of the rose in death.
Oh! linger not too long beyond the sea,
For absence is a bitter, chilling frost,
Ere roses bloom again return to me,
Forever absent is forever lost.
A spray of cypress shades this crimson flower,
Flushed by its passing blush, its latest breath,
The rose, to tell thee of love's living power,
The cypress, that my love is unto death.