The summer rose the sun has flushed
With crimson glory may be sweet;
'Tis sweeter when its leaves are crushed
Beneath the wind's and tempest's feet.
The rose that waves upon its tree,
In life sheds perfume all around;
More sweet the perfume floats to me
Of roses trampled on the ground.
The waving rose with every breath
Scents carelessly the summer air;
The wounded rose bleeds forth in death
A sweetness far more rich and rare.
It is a truth beyond our ken --
And yet a truth that all may read --
It is with roses as with men,
The sweetest hearts are those that bleed.
The flower which Bethlehem saw bloom
Out of a heart all full of grace,
Gave never forth its full perfume
Until the cross became its vase.