The Book of the Rose

by Charles G.D. Roberts




Come, Death, sit down with me,
Thou and Love, we three
In a sad conspiracy
Against life, our enemy.

Thine, Death, the briefer score,

Though she hate thee evermore.
Hate of hers is less sore
Than her treasons honeyed o'er
With old, sweet lies and false, sweet lore.
Whom she hurts thou healest, Death.

That is what she hates thee for.

Thine, Love, the bitterer plaint.
She has kissed thee, fooled thee, shamed thee,
Clasped thee, and disclaimed thee,
Found thee white, child and saint,


Left thee with the world's taint,
Found thee strong, left thee faint,
Used thee, and defamed thee

I, who love life, needs must live;
But, loving most, can least forgive.


Leave her, Love! Forsake her, Death!
So shall men come to curse their breath!