Ah! may the red rose live alway,

— To smile upon earth and sky!

Why should the beautiful ever weep?

— Why should the beautiful die?

Lending a charm to ev'ry ray

— That falls on her cheeks of light,

Giving the zephyr kiss for kiss,

— And nursing the dewdrop bright —

Ah! may the red rose live alway,

— To smile upon earth and sky!

Why should the beautiful ever weep?

— Why should the beautiful die?

2

Long may the daisies dance the field,

— Frolicking far and near!

Why should the innocent hide their heads?

— Why should the innocent fear?

Spreading their petals in mute delight

— When morn in its radiance breaks,

Keeping a floral festival

— Till the night-loving primrose wakes —

Long may the daisies dance the field,

— Frolicking far and near!

Why should the innocent hide their heads?

— Why should the innocent fear?

3

Lulled be the dirge in the cypress bough,

— That tells of departed flowers!

Ah! that the butterfly's gilded wing

— Fluttered in evergreen bowers!

Sad is my heart for the blighted plants —

— Its pleasures are aye as brief —

They bloom at the young year's joyful call,

— And fade with the autumn leaf:

Ah! may the red rose live alway,

— To smile upon earth and sky!

Why should the beautiful ever weep?

— Why should the beautiful die?

More verses by Stephen Collins Foster

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