RED roses, O red Roses,
            Roses afire, aflame,
          O burgeon that discloses
              The glory of desire ___
              Hush! all the heart of fire
            Is mingled in Thy name,
          O roses, roses, roses,
              Red roses of desire.

          The golden-shafted sunlight
            Beats down upon the sward;
          The pillared serpent's one light
              Is a flame of red desire;
              O snake from out the mire,
            I slay thee with the sword,
          The strong sword of the sunlight,
              The sword of my desire!

          The still strong bird of sorrow
            Keens through the golden blue,
          And many a bitter morrow
              Is borne upon his wings;                {281}
              The glory that he brings
            He brings, O King, to you,
          The wonder-song of sorrow
              In the flapping of his wings.

          The flaming day grows olden
            As the youth of glory wanes;
          And the sun-bird grows more golden
              And narrower his wings;
              He swirls around in rings;
            He bears the bloody stains
          Of all the sorrows olden
              Upon his bright gold wings.

          And scarlet-rimmed and splendid,
            The wide blue vault is spanned
          With golden rays wide-bended
              From the green earth to the skies;
              The hush of noontide dies,
            Song rises from the land ___
          And scarlet, naked, splendid,
              Glow out the radiant skies.

          A cloud of huge hushed laughter
            Shakes all the listening boughs,
          And a sudden hush comes after,
              Dropped from the silent skies;
              A myriad laughing eyes
            Flash in a still carouse,
          And shake with silent laughter
              The blue vault of the skies.         {282}

          A breeze ___ a leaf ___ a shadow ___
            The falling of a bud ___
          The wind across the meadow ___
              A flash of light ___ a call ___
              A patter on the wall ___
            The air is bright as blood;
          A moment stands a shadow,
              A moment sounds a call.

          Awake! the spell is broken,
            And hushed the sense of noon;
          What silent word was spoken
              In answer to the Call? ...
              Hush!  See the rose-leaves fall;
            Ah! see the pathway strewn
          With tender rose-leaves, broken
              In answer to the Call.

          How still it lies, the garden,
            Now the red flash is gone;
          The brown soil seems to harden
              Now the strange spell is fled;
              And the earth lies cold and dead,
            And the hot hours hurry on.
          It is only a quiet garden
              Now that the spell is fled.

          But the hour, the hour and the token,
            Have passed as a dream away,
          Now that the spell is broken,
              And the moment's flash is fled.          {283}
              When the secret word was said,
            Ah! what remained to say?
          No word, but silence' token
              That the golden God had fled.

          And the roses, roses, roses
            Flame in their red desire,
          And every bud uncloses
              To mark the sign that fled;
              The wonder-word hath sped
            To the far Olympian fire:
          The spell of the crimson roses
              Has passed from earth and fled.

          But still the old silent garden
            Remember the golden flush
          When the heavens seemed to harden
              For a moment that came and fled;
              When the whole green earth grew red
            In a breathless spell and a hush,
          And the world grew young in the garden,
              And trembled, and passed, and fled.

                                        VICTOR B. NEUBURG


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