Of all the flow’rs which nestle in the hedge
It is the rose that I hold closest to my heart;
That bloom so delicate and yet so strong
Has long contrived to hold my soul in thrall.
Once, fighting men emblematised the rose,
Condensed the world to simple red and white,
And always it has served the lover well -
The closest thing to spilling his own blood.
I love them all, whate’er their hue and type:
The humble dog-rose reaching for the sun’s
A match for any cultivated bloom.
Even now, its subtle perfume takes me
To “Tea Rose” which I found upon your skin.
And thus the thorn is hidden in this posy:
Absence - and the scent of distant roses.