Mary Aldis


You say I touch the barberries

As a lover his mistress?

What a curious fancy!

One must be delicate, you know—

They have bitter thorns.

You say my hand is hurt?

Oh no, it was my breast,

It was crushed and pressed.

I mean—why yes, of course, of course—

There is a bright drop—isn't there?—

Right on my finger;

Just the color of a barberry,

But it comes from my heart.

Do you love barberries?

In the autumn

When the sun's desire

Touches them to a glory of crimson and gold?

I love them best then.

There is something splendid about them:

They are not afraid

Of being warm and glad and bold;

They flush joyously,

Like a cheek under a lover's kiss;

They bleed cruelly

Like a dagger wound in the breast;

They flame up madly for their little hour,

Knowing they must die.

Do you love barberries?


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