By Thomas Bailey Aldrich
Three roses, wan as moonlight and weighed down
Each with its loveliness as with a crown,
Drooped in a florist’s window in a town.
The first a lover bought. It lay at rest,
Like flower on flower, that night, on Beauty’s breast.
The second rose, as virginal and fair,
Shrunk in the tangles of a harlot’s hair.
The third, a widow, with new grief made wild,
Shut in the icy palm of her dead child.