Rose Quotes

William Shakespeare

The red rose on triumphant brier.

Thos. Haynes Bayly

She Wore a Wreath of Roses

    She wore a wreath of roses,
The night that first we met.

The Rose That all are Praising

The rose that all are praising
Is not the rose for me.

Mike Beverly

Go Pretty Rose

Go pretty rose, go to my fair,
Go tell her all I fain would dare,
Tell her of hope; tell her of spring,
Tell her of all I fain would sing,
Oh! were I like thee, so fair a thing.

F. N. Bodenstedt

The Rose and Thistle. Trans. from the German by Frederick Ricord

Thus to the Rose, the Thistle:
Why art thou not of thistle-breed?
Of use thou’dst, then, be truly,
For asses might upon thee feed.

Maria Brooks

Written on Seeing Pharamond

The full-blown rose, mid dewy sweets
Most perfect dies.

E. B. Browning

Aurora Leigh. Bk. II.

This guelder rose, at far too slight a beck
Of the wind, will toss about her flower-apples.

A Dead Rose

O rose, who dares to name thee?
No longer roseate now, nor soft, nor sweet,
But pale, and hard, and dry, as stubblewheat,—
Kept seven years in a drawer, thy titles shame thee.

Aurora Leigh. Bk. VI.

‘Twas a yellow rose,
By that south window of the little house,
My cousin Romney gathered with his hand
On all my birthdays, for me, save the last;
And then I shook the tree too rough, too rough,
For roses to stay after.

A Lay of the Early Rose

And thus, what can we do,
Poor rose and poet too,
Who both antedate our mission
In an unprepared season?

A Lay of the Early Rose

“For if I wait,” said she,
“Till time for roses be,—
For the moss-rose and the musk-rose,
Maiden-blush and royal-dusk rose,—

“What glory then for me
In such a company?—
Roses plenty, roses plenty
And one nightingale for twenty?”

Isabel’s Child

Red as a rose of Harpocrate.

Lord Walter’s Wife

You smell a rose through a fence:
If two should smell it, what matter?

Romance of the Swan’s Nest

A white rosebud for a guerdon.

Robert Browning

One Way of Love

All June I bound the rose in sheaves,
Now, rose by rose, I strip the leaves.


A Scene on the Banks of the Hudson

Loveliest of lovely things are they
On earth that soonest pass away.
The rose that lives its little hour
Is prized beyond the sculptured flower.


The Posie

I’ll pu’ the budding rose, when Phœbus peeps in view,
For its like a baumy kiss o’er her sweet bonnie mou’!.

To Chloris

Yon rose-buds in the morning dew,
How pure amang the leaves sae green!


Song – When Love Came First to Earth

When love came first to earth, the Spring
Spread rose-beds to receive him.


The Romaunt of the Rose

Roses were sette of swete savour,
With many roses that thei bere.

Rose Garden

Je ne suis pas la rose, mais j’ai vécu pres d’elle.
I am not the rose, but I have lived near the rose.

Attributed to H. B. Constant by A. Hayward in Introduction to Letters of Mrs. Piozzi. Saadi, the Persian poet, represents a lump of clay with perfume still clinging to it from the petals fallen from the rose-trees. In his Gulistan. (Rose Garden.)

Rose Terry Cooke

Rêve Du Midi

Till the rose’s lips grow pale
With her sighs.


I wish I might a rose-bud grow
And thou wouldst cull me from the bower,
To place me on that breast of snow
Where I should bloom a wintry flower.

Julia C. R. Dorr

The Clay to the Rose

O beautiful, royal Rose,
O Rose, so fair and sweet!
Queen of the garden art thou,
And I—the Clay at thy feet!
* * * *
Yet, O thou beautiful Rose!
Queen rose, so fair and sweet,
What were lover or crown to thee
Without the Clay at thy feet?

George Elliot

Spanish Gypsy. Bk. III

It never will rain roses: when we want
To have more roses we must plant more trees.


Spectre of the Rose. (From the French.) See Werner’s Readings No. 8

Oh, raise your deep-fringed lids that close
To wrap you in some sweet dream’s thrall;
I am the spectre of the rose
You wore but last night at the ball.

R. W. Gilder

The White and Red Rose

In Heaven’s happy bowers
There blossom two flowers,
One with fiery glow
And one as white as snow;
While lo! before them stands,
With pale and trembling hands,
A spirit who must choose
One, and one refuse.

Felicia D. Hemans

Passing Away

Pflücke Rosen, weil sie blühn,
Morgen ist nicht heut!
Keine Stunde lass entfliehn.
Morgen ist nicht heut.

Gather roses while they bloom,
To-morrow is yet far away.
Moments lost have no room
In to-morrow or to-day.
Gleim—Benutzung der Zeit.

It is written on the rose
In its glory’s full array:
Read what those buds disclose.



Vertue. St. 2

Sweet rose, whose hue, angry and brave,
Bids the rash gazer wipe his eye,
Thy root is even in the grave,
And thou must die.


Hesperides. Found in Dodd’s Epigrammatists

Roses at first were white,
‘Till they co’d not agree,
Whether my Sappho’s breast
Or they more white sho’d be.

The Rose

But ne’er the rose without the thorn.

Ralph Hodgson

The Mystery

He came and took me by the hand,
Up to a red rose tree,
He kept His meaning to Himself,
But gave a rose to me.

I did not pray Him to lay bare
The mystery to me,
Enough the rose was Heaven to smell,
And His own face to see.


Ballad. It was not in the Winter

It was not in the winter
Our loving lot was cast:
It was the time of roses
We pluck’d them as we pass’d.

Miss Kilmansegg

Poor Peggy hawks nosegays from street to street
Till—think of that who find life so sweet!—
She hates the smell of roses.

Jean Ingelow

Laurance. Pt. III

And the guelder rose
In a great stillness dropped, and ever dropped,
Her wealth about her feet.

The Four Bridges. St. 61

The roses that in yonder hedge appear
Outdo our garden-buds which bloom within;
But since the hand may pluck them every day,
Unmarked they bud, bloom, drop, and drift away.


Endymion. Bk. I. L. 694

The vermeil rose had blown
In frightful scarlet, and its thorns outgrown
Like spiked aloe.

On Fame

But the rose leaves herself upon the brier,
For winds to kiss and grateful bees to feed.

George MacDonald

Songs of the Summer Night. Pt. III

Woo on, with odour wooing me,
Faint rose with fading core;
For God’s rose-thought, that blooms in thee,
Will bloom forevermore.


The Passionate Shepherd to his Love. St. 3. Said to be written by Shakespeare and Marlowe

Mais elle était du mond, où les plus belles choses
Ont le pire destin;
Et Rose, elle a vécu ce que vivent les roses,
L’espace d’un matin.

But she bloomed on earth, where the most beautiful things have the saddest destiny;
And Rose, she lived as live the roses, for the space of a morning.
François de Malherbe. In a letter of condolence to M. Du Perrier on the loss of his daughter.

And I will make thee beds of roses,
And a thousand fragrant posies.


Paradise Lost. Bk. IV. L. 256

Flowers of all hue, and without thorn the rose.

D. M. Moir

The White Rose

Rose of the desert! thou art to me
An emblem of stainless purity,—
Of those who, keeping their garments white,
Walk on through life with steps aright.


The Adventures of a Star

While rose-buds scarcely show’d their hue,
But coyly linger’d on the thorn.

The Roses

Two roses on one slender spray
In sweet communion grew,
Together hailed the morning ray
And drank the evening dew.


The Crystal-Hunters

Sometimes, when on the Alpine rose
The golden sunset leaves its ray,
So like a gem the flow’ret glows,
We thither bend our headlong way;
And though we find no treasure there,
We bless the rose that shines so fair.

Farewell! but Whenever you Welcome the Hour

Long, long be my heart with such memories fill’d!
Like the vase, in which roses have once been distill’d—
You may break, you may shatter the vase if you will,
But the scent of the roses will hang round it still.

Lalla Rookh. The Veiled Prophet of Khorassan

There’s a bower of roses by Bendemeer’s stream,
And the nightingale sings round it all the day long,
In the time of my childhood ’twas like a sweet dream,
To sit in the roses and hear the bird’s song.

The Last Rose of Summer

No flower of her kindred,
No rosebud is nigh,
To reflect back her blushes,
Or give sigh for sigh.

‘Tis the last rose of summer,
Left blooming alone.

Love Alone

What would the rose with all her pride be worth,
Were there no sun to call her brightness forth?

Odes of Anacreon. Ode XXXII

Why do we shed the rose’s bloom
Upon the cold, insensate tomb?
Can flowery breeze or odor’s breath,
Affect the slumbering chill of death?

Odes of Anacreon. Ode XLIV

Rose! thou art the sweetest flower,
That ever drank the amber shower;
Rose! thou art the fondest child
Of dimpled Spring, the wood-nymph wild.

Odes of Anacreon. Ode LV

Oh! there is naught in nature bright
Whose roses do not shed their light;
When morning paints the Orient skies,
Her fingers burn with roseate dyes.

Odes of Anacreon. Ode LV

The rose distils a healing balm
The beating pulse of pain to calm.

Rose of the Desert

Rose of the Desert! thus should woman be
Shining uncourted, lone and safe, like thee.

Rose of the Garden! such is woman’s lot—
Worshipp’d while blooming—when she fades, forgot.

Omar Khayyam

Rubaiyat. FitzGerald’s trans.

Each Morn a thousand Roses brings, you say;
Yes, but where leaves the Rose of Yesterday?

J. G. Percival

Anacreontic. St. 2

O rose! the sweetest blossom,
Of spring the fairest flower,
O rose! the joy of heaven.
The god of love, with roses
His yellow locks adorning,
Dances with the hours and graces.

Frederic Peterson

At Parting

The sweetest flower that blows,
I give you as we part
For you it is a rose
For me it is my heart.

Susan K. Phillips

The Eden Rose. Quoted by Kipling in Mrs. Hauksbee Sits it Out. Published anonymously in St. Louis Globe Democrat, July 13, 1878

There was never a daughter of Eve but once, ere the tale of her years be done,
Shall know the scent of the Eden Rose, but once beneath the sun;
Though the years may bring her joy or pain, fame, sorrow or sacrifice,
The hour that brought her the scent of the Rose, she lived it in Paradise.


The Two Travellers. Ch. II. Fable VI

There is no gathering the rose without being pricked by the thorns.


Autumn. L. 36

Let opening roses knotted oaks adorn,
And liquid amber drop from every thorn.

Essay on Man. Ep. I. L. 200

Die of a rose in aromatic pain.

Rape of the Lock. Canto IV. L. 158

Like roses, that in deserts bloom and die.


Celia to Damon

And when the parent-rose decays and dies,
With a resembling face the daughter-buds arise.

Thos. Buchanan Read

The New Pastoral. Bk. VII. L. 51

We bring roses, beautiful fresh roses,
Dewy as the morning and coloured like the dawn;
Little tents of odour, where the bee reposes,
Swooning in sweetness of the bed he dreams upon.

Jean Paul Richter

Titan. Zykel 105

Die Rose blüht nicht ohne Dornen. Ja: wenn nur aber nicht die Dornen die Rose überlebten.
The rose does not bloom without thorns.
True: but would that the thorns did not outlive the rose.

Christina G. Rossetti

Consider the Lilies of the Field

The rose saith in the dewy morn,
I am most fair;
Yet all my loveliness is born
Upon a thorn.

Christina G. Rossetti


I watched a rose-bud very long
Brought on by dew and sun and shower,
Waiting to see the perfect flower:
Then when I thought it should be strong
It opened at the matin hour
And fell at even-song.


Lady of the Lake. Canto IV

The rose is fairest when ’tis budding new,
And hope is brightest when it dawns from fears;
The rose is sweetest wash’d with morning dew,
And love is loveliest when embalm’d in tears.



VI. Pt. I. Act II. Sc. 4. L. 30

From off this brier pluck a white rose with me.

VI. Pt. II. Act I. Sc. 1. L. 254

Then will I raise aloft the milk-white rose,
With whose sweet smell the air shall be perfumed.

Merry Wives of Windsor

Act III. Sc. 1. L. 19. Song

There will we make our peds of roses,
And a thousand fragrant posies.


Midsummer Night’s Dream. Act II. Sc. 1. L. 107

Hoary-headed frosts
Fall in the fresh lap of the crimson rose.


Midsummer Night’s Dream. Act III. Sc. 1. L. 96

The red rose on triumphant brier.


The Sensitive Plant. Pt. I

And the rose like a nymph to the bath addrest,
Which unveiled the depth of her glowing breast,
Till, fold after fold, to the fainting air,
The soul of her beauty and love lay bare.


James Somerville

The White Rose. Other versions of traditional origin

Should this fair rose offend thy sight,
Placed in thy bosom bare,
‘Twill blush to find itself less white,
And turn Lancastrian there.

Harriet Prescott Spofford

Flower Songs. The Rose

I am the one rich thing that morn
Leaves for the ardent noon to win;
Grasp me not, I have a thorn,
But bend and take my being in.

A Sigh

It was nothing but a rose I gave her,—
Nothing but a rose
Any wind might rob of half its savor,
Any wind that blows.

Withered, faded, pressed between these pages,
Crumpled, fold on fold,—
Once it lay upon her breast, and ages
Cannot make it old!



The Year of the Rose

The year of the rose is brief;
From the first blade blown to the sheaf,
From the thin green leaf to the gold,
It has time to be sweet and grow old,
To triumph and leave not a leaf.

Bayard Taylor

Poems of the Orient. The Poet in the East. St. 5

And half in shade and half in sun;
The Rose sat in her bower,
With a passionate thrill in her crimson heart.



The Day-Dream. Moral

And is there any moral shut
Within the bosom of the rose?


Francis Thompson

Daisy. St. 10

The fairest things have fleetest end:
Their scent survives their close,
But the rose’s scent is bitterness
To him that loved the rose!


Gil Vicente

I Come from the Rose-grove, Mother. Trans. by John Bowring

I saw the rose-grove blushing in pride,
I gathered the blushing rose—and sigh’d—
I come from the rose-grove, mother,
I come from the grove of roses.


Edmund Waller

The Rose

Go, lovely Rose!
Tell her that wastes her time and me
That now she knows.
When I resemble her to thee,
How sweet and fair she seems to be.

Isaac Watts

The Rose

    How fair is the Rose! what a beautiful flower.
The glory of April and May!
But the leaves are beginning to fade in an hour,
And they wither and die in a day.
Yet the Rose has one powerful virtue to boast,
Above all the flowers of the field;
When its leaves are all dead, and fine colours are lost,
Still how sweet a perfume it will yield!


Amelia B. Welby

Hopeless Love. St. 5

    The rosebuds lay their crimson lips together.

Wisdom of Solomon. II. 8

  Let us crown ourselves with rosebuds before they be withered.


The Prelude. Bk. XI

 The budding rose above the rose full blown.

W. B. Yeats

The Secret Rose

Far off, most secret, and inviolate Rose,
Enfold me in my hour of hours; where those
Who sought thee in the Holy Sepulchre
Or in the wine vat, dwell beyond the stir
And tumult of defeated dreams.



Musk rose (Rosa Moschata).To a Friend who Sent some Roses

I saw the sweetest flower wild nature yields,
A fresh-blown musk-rose; ’twas the first that threw
Its sweets upon the summer.

Ode to a Nightingale

    And mid-May’s eldest child,
The coming musk-rose, full of dewy wine,
The murmurous haunt of flies on summer eyes.


 Rain-scented eglantine
Gave temperate sweets to that well-wooing sun.

Its sides I’ll plant with dew-sweet eglantine.


Leigh Hunt

Sweetbrier rose (Eglantine; Rosa Rubiginosa)

Wild-rose, Sweetbriar, Eglantine,
All these pretty names are mine,
And scent in every leaf is mine,
And a leaf for all is mine,
And the scent—Oh, that’s divine!
Happy-sweet and pungent fine,
Pure as dew, and pick’d as wine.

Songs and Chorus of the Flowers. Sweetbriar

 All these pretty names are mine,
And scent in every leaf is mine,
And a leaf for all is mine,
And the scent—Oh, that’s divine!
Happy-sweet and pungent fine,
Pure as dew, and pick’d as wine.

John Dryden

The Flower and the Leaf. L. 96

The fresh eglantine exhaled a breath,Those odours were of power to raise from death.


James Thomson

The Seasons. Spring

    As through the verdant maze
Of sweetbriar hedges I pursue my walk;
Or taste the smell of dairy.

John Greenleaf Whittier

The Bride of Pennacook. Pt. III. The Daughter

The garden rose may richly bloom
In cultured soil and genial air,
To cloud the light of Fashion’s room
Or droop in Beauty’s midnight hair,
In lonelier grace, to sun and dew
The sweetbrier on the hillside shows
Its single leaf and fainter hue,
Untrained and wildly free, yet still a sister rose!



A Day Dream.Wild rose (Rosa Lucida)

A wild rose roofs the ruined shed,And that and summer well agree.


L. E. Landon

The Oak. L. 17

A brier rose, whose buds
Yield fragrant harvest for the honey bee.


Bayard Taylor

The Guests of Night

A waft from the roadside bank
Tells where the wild rose nods.

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