To a Rose Refusing Death

You gather rose-buds while you may,
And clutch them as they start to gray,
For smiling flowers die, we know
And tomorrow they must always go.

Yet now you must the rose preserve,
Extract the moisture and the verve;
Retouch the color, cover spots,
And frame your passion in a box.

You'll forever pose the petals so
They please""though they will never grow""
And seal in airtight coffin glass
Your blossoms that weren't meant to last,

Then hang your rose-buds on the wall,
A catacomb of nature stalled,
And lay to rest the bedtime story
Of flowers that should fade with glory.

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