'O WHICH is the last rose?' A blossom of no name. At midnight the snow came; At daybreak a vast rose, In darkness unfurl'd, O'er-petall'd the world.
Its odourless pallor Blossom'd forlorn, Till radiant valour Establish'd the morn-- Till the night Was undone In her fight With the sun.
The brave orb in state rose, And crimson he shone first; While from the high vine Of heaven the dawn burst, Staining the great rose From sky-line to sky-line.
The red rose of morn A white rose at noon turn'd; But at sunset reborn All red again soon burn'd. Then the pale rose of noonday Rebloom'd in the night, And spectrally white In the light Of the moon lay.
But the vast rose Was scentless, And this is the reason: When the blast rose Relentless, And brought in due season The snow rose, the last rose Congeal'd in its breath, Then came with it treason; The traitor was Death.
In lee-valleys crowded, The sheep and the birds Were frozen and shrouded In flights and in herds. In highways And byways The young and the old Were tortured and madden'd And kill'd by the cold. But many were gladden'd By the beautiful last rose, The blossom of no name That came when the snow came, In darkness unfurl'd-- The wonderful vast rose That fill'd all the world.