William Cowper

Nov 15, 1731 - Apr 25, 1800


The Rose

by William Cowper

The rose had been wash'd, just wash'd in a shower
Which Mary to Anna convey'd,
The plentiful moisture encumber'd the flower,
And weigh'd down its beautiful head.

The cup was all fill'd, and the leaves were all wet,
And it seem'd to a fanciful view
To weep for the buds it had left, with regret,
On the flourishing bush where it grew.

I hastily seized it, unfit as it was
For a nosegay, so dripping and drown'd,
And swinging it rudely, too rudely, alas!
I snapp'd it, it fell to the ground.

And such, I exclaim'd, is the pitiless part
Some act by the delicate mind,
Regardless of wringing and breaking a heart
Already to sorrow resign'd.

This elegant rose, had I shaken it less,
Might have bloom'd with its owner a while;
And the tear, that is wiped with a little address,
May be follow'd perhaps by a smile.


The Poetical Works Of William Cowper, Volume 1
Copyright 1859
Little, Brown, And Company.
Shepard, Clark And Brown.