by: Joyce Kilmer (1886-1918)

      went to gather roses and twine them in a ring,
      For I would make a posy, a posy for the King.
      I got an hundred roses, the loveliest there be,
      From the white rose vine and the pink rose bush and from the red rose tree.

      But when I took my posy and laid it at His feet
      I found He had His roses a million times more sweet.
      There was a scarlet blossom upon each foot and hand,
      And a great pink rose bloomed from His side for the healing of the land.

      Now of this fair and awful King there is this marvel told,
      That He wears a crown of linkèd thorns instead of one of gold.
      Where there are thorns are roses, and I saw a line of red,
      A little wreath of roses around His radiant head.

      A red rose is His Sacred Heart, a white rose is His face,
      And His breath has turned the barren world to a rich and flowery place.
      He is the Rose of Sharon, His gardener am I,
      And I shall drink his fragrance in Heaven when I die.

"Roses" was originally published in Main Street and Other Poems. Joyce Kilmer. New York: George H. Doran Company, 1917.




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