RED tulip-buds last night caressed
The sacred ivory of her breast.
She met me, eager to divine
What gold-heart bud of hope was mine.

Nor eyes nor lips were strong to part
The close-curled petals round my heart;
The joy I knew no monarch knows,
Yet not a petal would unclose.

But, ah!--the tulip-buds, unwise,
Warmed with the sunshine of her eyes,
And by her soft breath glorified
Went mad with love and opened wide.

She saw their hearts, all golden-gay,
Laughed, frowned, and flung the flowers away.
Poor flowers, in Heaven as you were,
Why did you show your hearts to her?

More verses by Edith Nesbit