[Written for the Sentinel.]

TWO ROSES

A rosebud fair in a garden grew,
Tiny and pale and shy.
The sun shone out of a sky of blue,
And the soft winds floated by,
But it wrapped itself in its petals cold,
And seemed to say, "I will not unfold."

A woman came in the sunset light—
"O shy little rose," she cried,
"Why don't you open your eyes, and smile?
Is it laziness, temper, or pride?
The spring is here, and the world is glad,
Why do you look so pale and sad?"

A day went by, and the rose still hid
Its face in its veil of green—
"You poor little thing!" she said to herself,
"It is very plain to be seen
That you never can grow to be big and strong,
Unless I help the work along."

With trembling hands and in eager haste
She opened one by one
The fragile leaves. "It is all very well
To wait for the wind and sun,
But gentle methods are often slow—
My way is a better one, I know.

"Don't think me meddlesome—it's because
I love you so, you see.
I cannot trust in the wind and sun—
It all depends on me!" And she forced each delicate leaf apart
Till she reached its glowing, golden heart.

As the stars came out she stole away
Through the garden's fragrant gloom.
"It won't be long," she gaily cried,
"Till my rose will be in bloom.
And then how happy it will be
To think it had a friend like me!"

But when she chanced that way again,
Instead of her rose she found
A poor stiff thing whose withered leaves
Were strewing the muddy ground.
A storm had beaten, the wind had blown,
And the calyx stood on its stem alone.

She bowed her head. "Will I never learn!"
She whispered. "Dear patient One!
I pray for wisdom, another time,
To wait for the wind and sun—
To trust that the power which made the rose
Will see that it lives and thrives and grows!"


Another rose in the garden grew,
Tiny and pale and cold.
"It is love," she said, "and not self-will,
That will help my rose unfold.
Have I not courage, God above,
To do what is best for the thing I love?"

Humbly she knelt, and with gentle hands
Loosened the earth at its feet;
She carried water to quench its thirst;
She whispered, "O rosebud sweet,
We know not when God's time may be,
But I can do my part, you see."

Silently, sweetly, hour by hour,
In God's own way it grew—
How it warmed at the touch of the summer sun!
How it laughed when the soft winds blew!
"Help me," she whispered, "Love divine,
To know it was Thine before it was mine."

Then the moment came when she saw the last
Of the shy pink leaves unfold,
And the air was filled with a perfume rare,
Straight from its heart of gold.
And it seemed to say, "O tried and true,
I am glad I had a friend like you!"

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