Oregonian/1915/February/6/Two Poems Bear Same Title
TWO POEMS BEAR SAME TITLE
"Ashes of Roses." From The Oregonian 50 Years Ago, Reprinted by Request.
THE DALLES, Or., Feb. 4. (To the Editor.)—In The Oregonian January 25 in the items of "Half a Century Ago," I noticed that "Frances Fuller Victor had written a poem for The Oregonian" entitled "Ashes of Roses."
About 25 years ago I wrote verses with a similar title. They were published, I think, in the Springfield Republican and later in the Magazine of Poetry and Art. I am curious to see the poem written so long ago. The verses I wrote were set to music.
Is there any way to gratify my curiosity?
I enclose a copy of the verses I wrote.
MRS. HELEN N. PACKARD.
Ashes of Roses.
(From The Oregonian, January 25, 1865.)
O, wild November wind, blow back to me
The withered leaves that drift adown the past;
Waft us some murmur of that Summer sea
On which youth's fairy fleet of dreams were last;
Return to me the beautiful No More;
Oh, wild November wind, restore, restore!
November wind, in what dim, lonesome cave
Languish the tender, plumed gales of Spring?
No more their dances dimple o'er the wave,
Nor freighted pinions song and perfumes bring;
Those gales are fled—that dimpling sea is dark—
And cloudy ghosts clutch at each mist-like bark.
O wild, wild wind, where are the Summer airs
That kissed the roses of the Long Ago,
Taking them captive swooned in blissful snares
To let them perish? Now no roses blow
In the waste gardens thou art sweeping bare—
Where are my heart s bright roses; where, oh, where?
Hast thou no answer, thou unpitying gale,
No gentle whisper from the Past to me—
No snatches of sweet song, no loving tale,
No tender murmur from that Summer Sea?
Are all my dreams wrecked on the Nevermore?
Vain is thy taunt, Destroyer: Spring once more
Thy mad and ruthless ruin shall restore.
Following is the poem "Ashes of Roses," written 25 years ago by Mrs. Helen N. Packard:
Ashes of Roses.
What though the flowers we have gathered in youth,
Culled from the gardens of freshness and truth,
Fade in our clasp, as the long day closes?
Still there remains to us, ashes of roses.
When in life's west fades forever the light,
And o'er our pathway hushed falls the night,
Still subtle in fragrance as the day closes
All that remains behind, ashes of roses.
Earth unto earth, and dust unto dust,
Buried from sight for aye, love, hope and trust,
Yet wafted backward, ere the day closes,
Sweetest of incense, ashes of roses!
Ashes of roses! o'er an infinite sea
Islands of gladness look we to thee!
Something immortal our clear faith discloses,
Sweeter, far sweeter, than ashes of roses.