Amid The Roses

By Alice Dunbar-Nelson

There is tropical warmth and languorous life
       Where the roses lie
       In a tempting drift
Of pink and red and golden light
Untouched as yet by the pruning knife.
And the still, warm life of the roses fair
       That whisper “Come,”
       With promises
Of sweet caresses, close and pure
Has a thorny whiff in the perfumed air.
There are thorns and love in the roses’ bed,
       And Satan too
       Must linger there;
So Satan’s wiles and the conscience stings,
Must now abide—the roses are dead.