Tempted

Like the sweetest rose it came
In a swirling velvet frame;
All my mind could see was that—
Not all, for I saw Christ and stalled—
But this, it lured me, called
As dazzled there I sat.

I scarcely knew what had come
When it was there, but from
Where it came I knew well;
In swelling symphony it sang,
Grabbed all my passions, rang
With lovely, longing swell.

 

Surrounded now, I reached and took
And held it—and the look,
The feel, the smell was sweet to me.
But gone the scent beneath my nose!
This in my hand is not a rose!
A long, cruel thorn is all there be.

A thorn whose blood will dry,
A mark whose tears will cease to cry …
But the scar, the memory
Of that velvet rose I grasped tight
Will linger on to haunt me: fight
Against the velvet roses calling thee.

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