George Sterling

(1869-1926 / United States)

The Yellow Rose - Poem by George Sterling

Sad Autumn is the miser of thy gold;
But dead and meek
Thy petals speak
More than thy beauty told.

Now art thou sister of the wind and dew—
All fleeting things
Whose rainbow wings
Depart to come anew.

They make a fountain of the funeral urn—
Fragrance and tint
That, passing, hint
They pass but to return.

We find a myriad glimmerings of Truth;
Her perfect face
Withholds its grace,
Granting the heart its youth.

The deathless lyric ever on her tongue
Bestows a word;
The rest, unheard,
To alien skies is sung.

And so by touch and shadow, glimpse and gleam,
We know what path
Her passion hath
On heavens and hearts that dream.

And know that change is best, despite its pain:
On custom's rust
And Beauty's dust
Falls the renewing rain.
Wherefore his wings, except the swallow flew?
Joy's thrall is brief,
But that of grief
Is made as transient too,

Either were not, were either evermore.
The flower soon dies,
But soon the sighs
End, that we sighed therefor.

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, April 7, 2010

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