Poetry of Kansas

My Wild Rose.

I had a garden, which I kept
    With busy hands and tender care;
And once, while carelessly I slept,
    Fanned softly by the drowsy air,
A wild rose to my garden crept,
          And blossomed there.
O, sweet surprise. It seemed to me,
    Some fair hand, my heart to bless,
Had brought it there, from wood or lee.
    It came unsought 'twas loved no less;
I stooped and touched it tenderly,
          With soft caress.
I grew to love it passing well;
    While strange exotics, rich and rare,
With heart of gold and crimson bell,
    Paid grudgingly for constant care,
My wild rose, as in a woodland dell,
          Bloomed fresh and fair.
I watered not, I did not prune,
    I tied it not with cord or thong;
Yet, morn by morn and noon by noon,
    Through days of summer, hot and long,
And underneath the midnight moon,
          From branches strong
Hung clustered blossoms sweet and red;
    And day by day and week by week,
I trod the path which toward it lead.
    Whate'er my mood. I did not speak,
But close against bowed my head
          And pressed my cheek.
I think of it with sudden thrill.
    Now wide lands lie, deep water flows,
Smiles many a vale, looms many a hill
    Between me and the garden-close;
Yet fondly I remember still
          My sweet wild rose.

__Ellen P. Allerton.

Walls of Corn and Other Poems
Ellen P. Allerton
(Hiawatha, KS: Harrington Printing Company. 1894)
Pages 59-60

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June 16, 2003 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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