A sweet young girl lay dying,
Her true love by her side,
She whispered his name so softly,
He wept, he could not stem the tide.
But she gently forbade him
Whispering "Do not weep so,
For I have a favor to ask you,
One promise before I go.
"I want no blanket of flowers
To cover my coffin, you see,
But promise you'll place there a red rose
To tell of your love for me.
"I ask but a single red rose bud,
No bouquet nor wreath on a strand,
But, e'er they close the lid for the last time,
Please, place that rose in my hand."
He wished, at that moment, their roles were reversed,
He dying, she strong and well still,
But she begged this last favor of him
So he promised to do her will.
"Now, hold me closely, my darling,
"E'er they carry me from my bed."
As he kissed her gently, she breathed her last sigh,
In his arms he cradled her head.
When the people gathered to say, "Good bye,"
He came to her casket to stand,
And, keeping his last promise to her,
He placed the rose in her hand.
Covering her coffin with earth clay
Caused a pain he could not abide,
'Till he caught the scent of the red rose
And knew she was by his side.