• By David B. Gosselin

I Know Why the Red Rose Weeps


Roses - Frans Mortelmans

I know why the red rose weeps,

Why she hides her tears in dew,

As the summer breezes sweep

From those seas of peaceful blue,

And then like our dreams,

She fades with the morning dew.

I know why the red rose weeps

Through the dreamy months of June

As the golden breezes sweep

Over pallid sea rocks, hewn

By old Neptune’s tide

As he guards each sailor’s tomb.

And I know why the red rose weeps

While birds sing their matin lay,

And a gentle zephyr sweeps

Our cares somewhere far away,

Where grasshoppers leap

And the careless children play.


I know why the red rose weeps

During dreary September,

As autumnal breezes keep

Music that is more sober,

And the pine sap seeps

Into lonesome October.


I know why the red rose weeps

Through the month of January

As the frost-bitten wind creeps

Through her sumptuous sanctuary,

And the summer’s cradle

Becomes her cemetery.


For when the rose parts with her petals

The scent of its dying breath

On soft-fleeting breezes settles;

Seeing her beauty bereft

The air on ocean brine

Makes life sweeter still than death.


I know why the red rose weeps

When her buds have yet to see the day,

When beauty still so softly sleeps

Through the blooming month of May,

And morning frost keeps

Our own wildest dreams at bay.


As when one can almost hear

The sunrays brightly dancing

Over rolling fields of green,

With each new frond spreading

As winds softly pass

And the soaring skylarks sing,


So I know why the red rose weeps,

Why she hides her tears in dew,

As the golden breezes sweep

From those seas of peaceful blue,

And then like our dreams,

She fades with the morning dew.

David Gosselin is a poet, translator, and linguist based in Montreal. He is the founder of The Chained Muse poetry website and the founder of the New Lyre Podcast.