Rose to the Dead

Dublin Core


Rose to the Dead


I PLUCK'D a Rose for thee, sweet friend,

Thine ever favorite flower,

A bud I long had nurs'd for thee,

Within my wintry bower;

I group'd it with the fragrant leaves

That on the myrtle grew,

And tied it with a silken string

Of soft cerulean blue.

I brought the Rose to thee, sweet friend,

And stood beside the chair

Where sickness long thy step had chain'd -

But yet thou wert not there.

I turn'd me to thy curtain'd bed,

So fair with snowy lawn, -

Methought the unpress'd pillow said,

"Not here - but risen and gone."

Thy book of prayer lay open wide,

And 'mid its leaves were seen

A flower, with petals shrunk and dried,

Last Summer's wither'd queen;

It was a flower I gave thee, friend.

Thou lov'dst for my sake, -

"See, here, a fresher one I bring,"

No lip in answer spake.

Then from her sofa's quiet side

I rais'd the covering rare -

"Sleepest thou?" - upon her forehead lay,

Unstirr'd, the auburn hair.

But when to leave my cherish'd flower,

Her gentle hand I stole, -

That icy touch! - its fearful chill

Congealed my inmost soul.

Ah friend! - dear friend! - and can it be

Thy last sweet word is said?

And all too late my token comes

To cheer the pulseless dead?

Here on thy cold, unheaving breast

Thy promis'd rose I lay,

The lost poor symbol of a love

That cannot fade away.

But thou, from yon perennial bowers

Where free thy footsteps glide,

Or from those shores of bliss that meet

Life's never wasting tide;

Yea, where beside our Saviour's throne

Doth grow th'immortal tree,

Pluck thou an angel's stainless rose

And keep it safe for me.


Mrs. Sigourney (Lydia Sigourney)


New Series 2:36, p. 154




Mrs. Sigourney (Lydia Sigourney), “Rose to the Dead,” Periodical Poets, accessed February 22, 2024,


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