A Reminiscence

by Algernon Charles Swinburne

The rose to the wind has yielded: all its leaves
  Lie strewn on the graveyard grass, and all their light
  And colour and fragrance leave our sense and sight
Bereft as a man whom bitter time bereaves
Of blossom at once and hope of garnered sheaves,
  Of April at once and August. Day to night
  Calls wailing, and life to death, and depth to height,
And soul upon soul of man that hears and grieves.

Who knows, though he see the snow-cold blossom shed,
  If haply the heart that burned within the rose,
The spirit in sense, the life of life be dead?
  If haply the wind that slays with storming snows
Be one with the wind that quickens? Bow thine head,
  O Sorrow, and commune with thine heart: who knows?

Monadnock Valley Press > Swinburne