Frank Dempster Sherman


The Nun's Rose

by Frank Dempster Sherman

Over the convent wall
Clambers a rose-vine sweet,
Letting its fragrant blossoms fall
Into the dusty street.

Hither the weary guest,
Drawn by the fresh perfume,
Pauses to dream awhile and rest
Under the spray of bloom:

Lingers to dream of those
Who, in their quiet hours,
Dwelling within the garden-close,
Wander among the flowers.

What of their holy deeds
Ponders the dreamer there?
Is it the rosaries of beads
Counted in silent prayer?

Is it the chants they sing?
Is it the fasts they keep?
Is it the words of comforting
Spoken to those who weep?

Nay, 't is of her whose love
Moved her to train this vine
Over the convent wall above,
Breathing a scent like wine.

Tokens these blossoms seem
Speaking of her pure life:
Petals that fall like dream on dream
Into a world of strife.


Lyrics For A Lute
Copyright 1890
Boston and New York, Houghton, Mifflin, and Company