Arthur John Arbuthnott Stringer (1874-1950)

Text from A Century of Canadian Sonnets.

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At the End of the Wooing

"From its frail stem tear not the rose," you said,
"Nor brush from wings so fragile all their gold,
Lest in your unrewarded hand you hold
Only, alas, torn plumes and petals dead!
Ah, plead no more"--you bowed your troubled head--
"Lest we who loved and listened, dear, of old,
In life's cage kiss this singing glory cold,
And find bruised petals where the rose hung red!"
I take the solace, and endure the smart;
Bend close, O wondering brow, and turn to me
Thos wistful lips, those eyes of mournful blue,
Where still the old smile steals, for, light of heart,
The fleeting rose, the unassuaging voices, see,
I leave and lose, but You--oh, never You!