Dedication: To Grania, with the Rose of Old Romance

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Dedication: To Grania, with the Rose of Old Romance

Dearest of women,—if this Rose be grown
Red in late autumn, claim it for your own!
This is the flower that breathed on Camelot
Undying perfume; whose fine arrows, shot
Across the vacant dark and gape of time,
Found the White Doe there in her faerie clime;
And this the Rose whose blood fulfilled the Grail,
Whose thorns were sharp, whose stem encased in mail
Was Arthur's,—armed his purple crest with fear,
And with one petal made all Gwenevere.
If it be said, the blossoms of that tree
Their summer past, have no eternity,
It is not true. Great Love, imperilled, is
Still a knight errant on the hills and the seas,
And you, whose guerdon now, these three years gone,—
Dire years,—I won in fear, and still warred on,
Know how the Tree of Arthur and its flower
Were still my solace in the insatiate hour;—
Know how we too sustained the Dolorous Stroke,
Met the fell wind that full on Barendown broke,
With Columbe died, fought at the Peron stone
And at the last, when all our wars were done
And we left wounded, sailed to Avalon.
What more of hope and woe made red this Rose,
None but the secret dream of Grania knows,
That drained the Cup of Trembling, and renewed
With woman's sorrow Avalon's magic rood,
And from the piteous dust long buried there
Lifted this flower, to live and bloom for her.


September 24, 1905