Elizabeth Barrett Browning

(6 March 1806 – 29 June 1861 / Durham / England)

A Dead Rose

Poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

O Rose! who dares to name thee?
No longer roseate now, nor soft, nor sweet;
But pale, and hard, and dry, as stubble-wheat,---
Kept seven years in a drawer---thy titles shame thee.

The breeze that used to blow thee
Between the hedgerow thorns, and take away
An odour up the lane to last all day,---
If breathing now,---unsweetened would forego thee.

The sun that used to smite thee,
And mix his glory in thy gorgeous urn,
Till beam appeared to bloom, and flower to burn,---
If shining now,---with not a hue would light thee.

The dew that used to wet thee,
And, white first, grow incarnadined, because
It lay upon thee where the crimson was,---
If dropping now,---would darken where it met thee.

The fly that lit upon thee,
To stretch the tendrils of its tiny feet,
Along thy leaf's pure edges, after heat,---
If lighting now,---would coldly overrun thee.

The bee that once did suck thee,
And build thy perfumed ambers up his hive,
And swoon in thee for joy, till scarce alive,---
If passing now,---would blindly overlook thee.

The heart doth recognise thee,
Alone, alone! The heart doth smell thee sweet,
Doth view thee fair, doth judge thee most complete,---
Though seeing now those changes that disguise thee.

Yes, and the heart doth owe thee
More love, dead rose! than to such roses bold
As Julia wears at dances, smiling cold!---
Lie still upon this heart---which breaks below thee!

Comments about A Dead Rose by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

  • Leon s (9/18/2018 12:27:00 PM)

    Nice poem, nice find(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Lovely poem, I like it very much AASWBandara (3/9/2018 11:27:00 AM)

    Nice creation 09/03/2018(Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Amar AgarwalaAmar Agarwala (11/5/2016 7:30:00 PM)

    A lovely composition, beautiful description fused with rare warmth.(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Chaitanya Reddy (5/11/2014 8:34:00 AM)

    that's a very good poem(Report)Reply

    9 person liked.
    4 person did not like.
  • Brian JaniBrian Jani (5/2/2014 7:02:00 AM)

    Nice poem I like it very much(Report)Reply

    5 person liked.
    5 person did not like.
  • Liliana ~el (4/12/2014 8:15:00 PM)

    Beautiful, deep, captivating
    sun...in thy gorgeous urn...bloom, and flower to burn
    Statement about the past, abandonment, and change
    Fully descriptive
    Brings attention to the ideal of living completely in the present moment, cherishing with total mindfulness, thankfulness, and grace.(Report)Reply

    7 person liked.
    8 person did not like.
  • Krishnakumar Chandrasekar NairKrishnakumar Chandrasekar Nair (11/1/2013 6:33:00 AM)

    Yes like the rose they fall for us
    When we are pink and sweet sixteen
    But time is short and petals fall
    And few come visiting in between

    Our lives are also like roses stretched into longer spans. When pink cheeks wrinkle with age few heads will turn when you pass by. Fresh roses have to fall and manure the earth so that new buds are born. All ye poets who read this are welcome to my page too...(Report)Reply

    8 person liked.
    11 person did not like.
  • Hardik Vaidya (4/12/2013 11:22:00 PM)

    I normally am blind and dud to appreciate old poetry, this one perhaps helped me feel I am not that dumb after all. What a Masterpeice.(Report)Reply

    Deborah Cromer(2/2/2019 1:20:00 AM)

    Have sight and see
    I love the oldest poetry
    Be wise and learn all
    Hear the rhyme and answer the call

    18 person liked.
    8 person did not like.
  • Tom Marvelo Riddle (4/12/2013 8:15:00 AM)

    I am Lord Voldemort and I will devour your soul(Report)Reply

    19 person liked.
    22 person did not like.
  • Gajanan MishraGajanan Mishra (4/12/2013 5:00:00 AM)

    More love, dead rose. great.(Report)Reply

    5 person liked.
    14 person did not like.
  • Patrice DelevoePatrice Delevoe (4/12/2013 1:41:00 AM)

    Please look at my poems(Report)Reply

    6 person liked.
    15 person did not like.
  • Kelly Passion (2/16/2013 4:00:00 AM)

    never a moment would pass without a thought given to this blissful piece...
    i owe a lot to the heart that created this piece
    i love this article...........Tempest cherishes this(Report)Reply

    13 person liked.
    10 person did not like.
  • Carlos Echeverria (4/12/2012 10:44:00 AM)

    Such elegance in rhyme and meter; so sweet sounding and heart-pounding.(Report)Reply

    22 person liked.
    16 person did not like.
  • Pranab K ChakrabortyPranab K Chakraborty (4/12/2012 8:12:00 AM)

    The bee that once did suck thee,
    And build thy perfumed ambers up his hive,
    And swoon in thee for joy, till scarce alive, -
    If passing now, -would blindly overlook thee.....

    Great art always goes beyond the time. The poem, specially the quoted lines yet so genuinely documentising the passion of time present, great.(Report)Reply

    11 person liked.
    15 person did not like.
  • Paul BrookesPaul Brookes (4/12/2012 2:46:00 AM)

    How beautiful Her description of a memento of love kept seven years. Yet though fade the love it inspired is still fresh. The contrast to the living roses which have not half the love or life even if it is dried and lifeless. What could be more personal.(Report)Reply

    9 person liked.
    14 person did not like.
  • Anjali Mandokhot (12/5/2007 10:36:00 PM)

    this is an extraordinary piece.......never ave i seen or read anyone else avin love 4 a dead rose and feeling debted towards it from heart.......i really believe that heart owes much love to the dead rose 4 it was a heart that fell for it and plucked it from its abode, where it was enjoyin so much of nature's love......, and it wa a heart that shut it up in a drawer to die.(Report)Reply

    10 person liked.
    14 person did not like.
  • Liz Elizabeth (8/7/2007 4:33:00 AM)

    hey, you are really talented! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! altought we have the same name....but i thing there had a lot of differences between us! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! i am sure i'll dont have such a good poem, even the next 10 years...hahahaha^_^great job.(Report)Reply

    9 person liked.
    19 person did not like.
  • Beca Sawatzky (5/14/2007 8:30:00 PM)

    I Really don't like Her poems at all. they don't make any sense to me and they have nothing to do with personal life.(Report)Reply

    11 person liked.
    26 person did not like.
  • Susan Davis (4/12/2005 1:26:00 PM)

    I've always liked Browning. She has such a descriptiveness about her writing.(Report)Reply

    15 person liked.
    11 person did not like.
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Read poems about / on: rose, alone, flower, joy, heart, sun, light, smile, change, dance

Poem Submitted: Saturday, May 12, 2001

Poem Edited: Thursday, April 12, 2012