by Helen Hunt Jackson
He slept on a bed of roses,
I know --
I, who am least of his subjects. The thing
Before it was time for the king
To rise -- just before -- I saw a red glow
Stream out of his door, such as roses show
At heart, such a glow as no fire could bring.
The solid gold of the whole eastern wing
Of the palace seemed pale.
Then, floating low
Across the threshold, great petals of pink
Fell from the feet of the king, as he stood
There, smiling, majestic, serene, and good.
But was it a bed of roses?
Of another monarch who, on the brink
Of death by fire, smiled, as a monarch should.
Roberts Brothers, Boston