Rosa Mystica

Clark Ashton Smith

The secret rose we vainly dream to find
Was blown in grey Atlantis long ago,
Or in old summers of the realms of snow
Its attar lulled the pole-arisen wind;
Or once its broad and breathless petals pined
In gardens of Persepolis, aglow
With fiery-sworded sunlight and the slow
Red waves of sand, invincible and blind.

On orient isles or isles hesperian,
Through mystic days ere mortal time began,
It flowered above the ever-flowering foam;
Or, legendless, in lands of yesteryear,
It flamed among the violets—near, how near
To unenchanted fields and hills of home !

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