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The Moss Rose
by [?]

‘Tis said, long since an angel came to earth,
Sent by his Lord, to help with loving hand
A suffering one, afflicted from his birth.
The limb was healed as by divine command,
But He felt weak, for strength from Him had gone,
A sacrifice which love could not withhold;
So he sought shelter till the morning dawn,
But none received–they prized not love, but gold.

Then ‘neath a rose bush did the angel lie,
And rested well until the break of day,
When much refreshed he sought his home on high,
But ere he started on his upward way,
He said to sheltering rose, in loving voice,
“What man refused thou hast afforded me.
What is thy wish? Make known to me thy choice;
The God of love and power will grant it thee!”

“I ask no brighter hue,” the rose replied,
“Both old and young smile on me as they pass,
My buds adorn the bosom of the bride,
And hide among the locks of lovely lass;
With fragrance, too, I own myself content,
For naught on earth surpasses me in this;
But if, indeed, my Maker thee has sent
I ask but this, to consummate my bliss:

“I feel the cold, both in my bark and bud,
When Autumn winds sweep o’er the western hill,
And frozen dewdrops oft my branches stud,
Which mar my beauty and my juices chill.
Give me an extra garb, ’tis all I lack.”
“Thou hast thy wish, I shelter found in thee,
I take delight in kind to pay thee back.
Let softest moss thy extra garment be.”

Then touched the angel bark, and bud, and leaf,
And soft green moss suffused it o’er and o’er.
He lingered near it for a moment brief,
Plucked off a bud, which he to heaven bore;
And now the rose smiles at the raging storm,
Defies the wind and nipping frost as well;
Its fragrance still retains, and lovely form,
While nestling budlets this old story tell.