Home  »  The Book of Elizabethan Verse  »  William Browne (c. 1590–c. 1645)

William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. The Book of Elizabethan Verse. 1907.

The Rose

William Browne (c. 1590–c. 1645)

A ROSE, as fair as ever saw the North,

Grew in a little garden all alone;

A sweeter flower did Nature ne’er put forth,

Nor fairer garden yet was never known:

The maidens danced about it morn and noon,

And learnèd bards of it their ditties made;

The nimble fairies by the pale-faced moon

Water’d the root and kiss’d her pretty shade.

But well-a-day!—the gardener careless grew;

The maids and fairies both were kept away,

And in a drought the caterpillars threw

Themselves upon the bud and every spray.

God shield the stock! If heaven send no supplies,

The fairest blossom of the garden dies.