The Rose-Bush

A child sleeps under a rose-bush fair,
The buds swell out in the soft May air;
Sweetly it rests, and on dream-wings flies
To play with the angels in Paradise.
And the years glide by.

A Maiden stands by the rose-bush fair,
The dewy blossoms perfume the air;
She presses her hand to her throbbing breast,
With love’s first wonderful rapture blest.
And the years glide by.

A Mother kneels by the rose-bush fair,
Soft sigh the leaves in the evening air;
Sorrowing thoughts of the past arise,
And tears of anguish bedim her eyes.
And the years glide by.

Naked and lone stands the rose-bush fair,
Whirled are the leaves in the autumn air,
Withered and dead they fall to the ground,
And silently cover a new-made mound.
And the years glide by.

From the German by William Warren Caldwell