Down, down beneath the daisy beds,
O hear the cries of pain!
And moaning on the cinder-path
They’re blind amid the rain.
Can murmurs of the worms arise
To higher hearts than mine?
I wonder if that gardener hears
Who made the mold all fine
And packed each gentle seedling down
So carefully in line?
I watched the red rose reaching up
To ask him if he heard
Those cries that stung the evening earth
Till all the rose-roots stirred.
She asked him if he felt the hate
That burned beneath them there.
She asked him if he heard the curse
Of worms in black despair.
He kissed the rose. What did it mean?
What of the rose’s prayer?
Down, down where rain has never come
They fight in burning graves,
Bleeding and drinking blood
Within those venom-caves.
Blaspheming still the gardener’s name,
They live and hate and go.
I wonder if the gardener heard
The rose that told him so?