Leigh Gordon Giltner

Ashes of Roses

Skies glooming overhead,
  Autumn winds sighing;
Bare yonder garden bed,
  Flowers low lying.
All their rich radiance fled,
All their pale petals shed,
Wan wraiths of Summer sped,
  In Autumn's closes;
Crimson and cream and gold
Strewn on earth's bosom cold,
Mingling with umber mold--
      Ashes of roses.

See, in yon waning West
  Rich roses blowing
On Heaven's palimpsest
  God's message glowing;
Rose hues and amethyst
Drenched in purpureate mist,
Darkness with Day keeps tryst,
  Night's curtain closes;
Quenched is the burning gold,
Shadowed the upland wold,
Day's fires grow dull and cold
      Ashes of roses.

So on this heart of mine
  Shadows are lying;
Lotus and rue entwine,
  Dim dreams are dying;
Stilled is the thrill divine,
Spilled is the amber wine,
Dimly the cold stars shine;
  Wan age discloses
All youth's bright blossoms dead,
All love's rare radiance sped,
All hope's pure petals shed--
      Ashes of roses.

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