Amid the Roses
There is tropical warmth and languorous life Where the roses lie In a tempting drift Of pink and red and golden light Untouched as yet by the pruning knife. And the still, warm life of the roses fair That whisper "Come," With promises Of sweet caresses, close and pure Has a thorny whiff in the perfumed air. There are thorns and love in the roses’ bed, And Satan too Must linger there; So Satan’s wiles and the conscience stings, Must now abide—the roses are dead.
This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on June 16, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.
About this Poem
This poem was originally published in Violets and Other Tales (The Monthly Review, 1895).
Alice Ruth Moore Dunbar-Nelson was born on July 19, 1875, in New Orleans, Louisiana. She graduated from Straight University in New Orleans and worked as an elementary teacher. She was an activist for civil rights and women's suffrage, as well as a poet, journalist, short-story writer, and playwright. Her works include Violets and Other Tales (The Monthly Review, 1895) and The Goodness of St. Rocque and Other Stories (Dodd, Mead and Company, 1899). She married Paul Laurence Dunbar in 1898, though they later separated. She died on September 18, 1935, in Philadelphia.
Date Published: 1895-01-01
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/amid-roses