A White Rose

By George Sterling

How pure the light thy petals hold
    In. fragrance on the tideless air!
How gently come the hands that mold,
    Nor break the sleep of color there!

How mutely on the richer day
    Thy wafture floats of patient breath !—
We cannot hurry nor delay
    The feet of Time and Love and Death.

Ah, calm thy day, ere evening take
    Her misty throne, upbuilt anew
Of starlit gloom, till dawn awake
    The topaz hidden in the dew.

And sweet thy night, ere, uncontrolled,
    The restless winds of dawn depart;
And, east from sudden heights of gold,
    The shadows tremble at thy heart.

O brother-life! the silent Pow'r
    Constrains thy wings with other bars;
Remote from human time thine hour
    Thine evening fair with alien stars.

Our senses light a little arc,
    Beyond whose twilight, vague, untrod,
The reaches of denying Dark
    Withhold the infinity of God,

Whose range of unrecorded night,
    And distance of eternal plan,
Isle in equality of light
    The stars of life in flower and man;

And waken to recurrent morn
    Of bee or blossom, bird or leaf,
The life that in the days unborn
    Shall sorrow in the halls of Grief.

When I, afar from human fears,
    Illusive hope or joy intense,
May yet, beyond estranging years,
Attain the blossom's innocence.

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