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by Paul Laurence Dunbar

I grew a rose within a garden fair
And tending it, with more than loving care,
I thought how, with the glory of its bloom,
I should the darkness of my life illume;
And watching, ever smiled to see the lusty bud,
Drink freely in the summer sun to tinct its blood.

My rose began to open, and its hue
Was sweet to me as to it, sun and dew;
I watched it taking on its ruddy flame
Until the day of perfect blooming came,
Then, hasted I with smiles, to find it blushing red—
Too late! Some thoughtless child had plucked my rose and fled!

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