Katharine Lee Bates

Aug. 12, 1859 - Mar. 28, 1929


When It Befortunes Us

by Katharine Lee Bates

When it befortunes us, who love so dearly,
To hurt each other, let us haste to wring
This joy from our remorseful passioning, --
The wound is witness that we love sincerely.
So slight a weapon, word or silence merely,
Would scarce effect surprisal of a sting,
Were't not thy word, my silence, for we cling
One soul together. Life allots austerely
Unto the rose of love the thorny power
To tear the heart, but ah, love's anodyne!
The prick but proves the presence of the flower,
Our one white rose from gardens all divine.
Then, only then, could grief outlast her hour
Were I ungrieved by least rebuff of thine.


Yellow Clover: A Book Of Remembrance
Copyright 1922
E. P. Dutton & Company, New York