The Golden Rose

Edith Nesbit

A poor lost princess, weary and worn,
Came over the down by the wind-washed moor,
And the king looked out on her grace forlorn,
And he took her in at his palace door.

He made her queen, he gave her a crown,
Bidding her rest and be glad and gay
In his golden town, with a golden gown,
And a new gold lily every day.

But the crown is heavy, the gold gown gray,
And the queen's pale breast is like autumn snows;
For he brings a gold lily every day,
But no king gathers the golden rose.

One came at last to the palace keep
By worlds of water and leagues of land,
Gray were his garments, his eyes were deep,
And he held the golden rose in his hand.

She left gold gown, gold town, gold crown,
And followed him straight to a world apart,
And he left her asleep on the wind-washed down,
With the golden rose on her quiet heart.

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