Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Georgian Verse
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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Georgian Verse.  1909.
 
The Three Roses
By Walter Savage Landor (1775–1864)
 
WHEN 1 the buds began to burst,
Long ago, with Rose the First,
I was walking; joyous then
Far above all other men,
Till before us up there stood        5
Britonferry’s oaken wood,
Whispering, ‘Happy as thou art,
Happiness and thou must part.’
Many summers have gone by
Since a Second Rose and I        10
(Rose from that same stem) have told
This and other tales of old.
She upon her wedding-day
Carried home my tenderest lay:
From her lap I now have heard        15
Gleeful, chirping, Rose the Third,
Not for her this hand of mine
Rhyme with nuptial wreath shall twine;
Cold and torpid it must lie,
Mute the tongue and closed the eye.        20
 
Note 1. “‘Rose the First’ is, of course, Rose Aylmer. The mother of this young lady, Lady Aylmer, after the death of her first husband, married a Welsh gentleman, Mr. Howel Price, and had by him a daughter, who married Mr. D. M. Paynter. The daughter of this marriage, christened Rose in her turn, was Landor’s ‘young Rose’ and ‘Second Rose.’ By his ‘tenderest lay’ he means the lines, To a Bride (see No. 393), addressed to her on her marriage to Sir Charles Sawle, in 1846. ‘Rose the Third’ is the daughter of this last marriage, and great-grandniece of the original Rose Aylmer.” [back]
 
 
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