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71. red, White, and Blue.

by Theodore Tilton.
I.
     Red cypress! Thee I pluck to-day.
All flowers have meaning, poets say.
     The legend of thy leaf
Is death, the grave, and grief.
     Thou growest for the sake
Of all the hearts that break;
     But since so many hearts have bled,
Thy flower hath turned blood-red.
     Thee on my breast I wear,
For now a heart bleeds there.

II.
     White rose! Why pluck I not the red?
The red rose speaks of love:
     --And love I not my dead?
What speaks the white rose of?
     Despair! Love's last despair!
This is the load I bear;
     So I the white rose wear.

[64] III.
     Blue harebell! Mute the knell
Of thy soft bell,
     Yet each breath shakes it, as in toll
Of some departed soul.
     Grief is thy second name;
Grief bendeth down thy head;
     Grief boweth mine the same ;--

Who grieveth not for some one dead?
     Grief's flower I wear upon my breast;
Grief is my heart's lone guest;
     --But never yet was grief unblest!
So every weeper hath confess'd:
     --So hath my heart its rest.

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