The Last Covenant
Roses are buds, and beautiful,
One petal leaning toward adventure.
Roses are full, all petals forward,
Beauty and power indistinguishable.
Roses are blown, startled with life,
Death young in their faces.
Shall they Die?
Then comes the halt, and recumbence, and failing.
But none says, 'A rose is dead.'
But men die: it is said, it is seen,
For man is a long, late adventure;
His budding is a purpose,
His fullness more purpose,
His blowing a renewal,
His death a cramped spilling
Of rash measures and miles.
To the rose no tears:
Which flee before the race is called.
And to man no mercy but his will
That he has had his will, and is done.
The mercy of truth—it is to be truth.