I know of roses white, that hue so pure and cruel:
Their petals turn red only for the price of blood.
A thorn to pierce the heart unstops the crimson flood;
The song bird sings her love, and singing, dies a fool.
And buttercups I know, so vicious in their modest beauty.
The whistle sounds! Young men rush toward death
O'er twisted corpses on a cratered heath
To feed them in their senseless sense of duty.
Some flowers never knew a sense of shame:
They cast their seeds into the slightest breeze --
Wild hearts no loving heart could hope to tame
O'erleap all custom and convention with such ease!
There is a flower, far away, for whom my passions burn,
Her face grows moist with dew when memories return.