by Frank Dempster Sherman
A Rose on a spray where a brown bird sang,
Looked down, with a blush on her lovely face,
And saw, lying coiled in the fragrant place,
A green little snake with a forked fang.
Then swift from her cheek fled the crimson blush;
No longer she dreamed of the bird's sweet song;
But trembled with fear, lest the poisoned prong
Should strike and the lyric forever hush.
And lo, when the serpent had slipped away,
And vanished the bird in the blue above,
Two maids in the morning of newfound love
Bent over the bloom on the slender spray.
And one in her heart felt a strange delight, --
A thought of the bird made the rose blush red!
And one in her heart felt a sudden dread, --
A thought of the snake made the rose blanch white!
Source:Lyrics For A Lute
Boston and New York, Houghton, Mifflin, and Company