The Christmas Rose(from Love Triumphant and Other New Poems: 1898)
O Star of hope and courage, winter-bound!
Thy stem, now graced with that corolla white,
All glistening clear, as if compact of light,
Has striven through the hard and bitter ground,
And in the coarse earth vital beauty found.
Symbolic art thou of His love and might
Who did not flash, transcendent, on our sight.
But came by ways at which the dreamers frowned.
The pains that darken this, our mortal span,
The common joys, made holy, sacrificed
As God's enrichment of our sorrowing earth,—
The Son of Man has blessed for every man.
At Cana, Calvary, Bethlehem, the Christ
Has sealed as sacred, marriage, death, and birth.
Annie Matheson (1853-1924)
British Victorian era poet