John Crowe Ransom

30 April 1888 - 3 July 1974 / Pulaski Tennessee

The Four Roses

Four sisters sitting in one house,
I said, these roses on a stem
With bosoms bare. But wayfaring
I went and ravished one of them.
So one was taken. But the three,
They spread their petals just the same,
They turned no decent pale for grief,
They drew no fragrance back for shame.
The canker is on roses too!
I cried, and lifted up the rod
And scourged them bleeding to the ground.
All, all are sinners unto God.
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