The Yellow Rose

By George Sterling

Sad Autumn is the miser of thy gold;
            But dead and meek
            Thy petals speak
        More than thy beauty told.

Now art thou sister of the wind and dew—
            All fleeting things
            Whose rainbow wings
        Depart to come anew.

They make a fountain of the funeral urn—
            Fragrance and tint
            That, passing, hint
        They pass but to return.

We find a myriad glimmerings of Truth;
            Her perfect face
            Withholds its grace,
        Granting the heart its youth.

The deathless lyric ever on her tongue
            Bestows a word;
            The rest, unheard,
        To alien skies is sung.

And so by touch and shadow, glimpse and gleam,
            We know what path
            Her passion hath
        On heavens and hearts that dream.

And know that change is best, despite its pain:
            On custom's rust
            And Beauty's dust
        Falls the renewing rain.
Wherefore his wings, except the swallow flew?
            Joy's thrall is brief,
            But that of grief
        Is made as transient too,

Either were not, were either evermore.
            The flower soon dies,
            But soon the sighs
        End, that we sighed therefor.

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