Longfellow's Rose Garden
(Wayside Inn)
Walter Lincoln Howard


Past the roses
     the fading yellow lilies
     rainbow of border flowers
     along the brick path
to your shrine...
bust of cold stone
face hewn out of kindness
     eyes closed, I trace its lines
         soft, sad eyes that knew
              a world of beauty and of care
         patrician nose
         heart full of poetry.

As evening's light dissolves
As swelling virgin moon ascends
she bathes, crowns your head with stars.

Your skull was full of flowers
You were the West wind's friend
You were the immense shadow of your tears.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
As the moon's silver arrows
    prick the linnet's wings
honeysuckle lose themselves
    in their dreams
I carry away your song.

sweet Auburn's guest
may Spring's smile
the sweet breath of summer
autum's sadness
the soft deceitful snow
    --winter's gift
your endless days
as it did your eye.

Published in The Longfellow Journal, Volume XI
© Walter Lincoln Howard
All rights reserved. No part of this work may be copied or used in any way without written permission from the author.

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