In a waste of yellow sand, on the brow of a dreary hill,
A slight little slip of a rose struggled up to the light,
The seed maybe was sown there by the south wind's idle will,
But there it grew and blossomed, pale and white.
Only one flower it bore, and that was frail and small,
But I think it was brave to try to grow at all.
In groves of fair Cashmere, or sheltered garden of kings,
Sweet with a thousand flowers, with birds of paradise
Fanning her blushing cheeks with their glowing wings,
Praising her deepening bloom with their great bright eyes,
Life would have been a pleasure instead of a toil,
To my pale little patient rose of the sandy soil.
Did she ever sadly think of her wasted life,
Folding her wan weak hands so helpless and still;
And the great oak by her sheltering glad bird life,
And the thirsty meadows praising the running rill;
She could hear the happy work-day song of the busy brook,
While she, poor thing, could only stand and look.
Did the wee white rose ever think of her lonely life,
That there were none to care if she tried to grow;
None to care if the cloud that hung in the west
Should burst, and scatter her pale leaves far and low?
Did she ever wish that the heavy cloud would fall
And hide her, so unblest, from the sight of all?
One sky bends o'er rich garden flowers, and those
That dwell in barren soil, untended and unblest;
And I think that God was pleased with the small white rose,
That tried so patiently to live and do its best;
That bravely kept its small leaves pure and fair
On the waste of dreary sand, and the desert air.