A white rose blooms against the stone wall,
Its sweet perfume borne on the evening breeze.
A warrior sits, idly dreaming, his eyes on naught
As he leans in the window above the street.
Those who have seen him, and there are many,
As he strides about the climbing streets,
See his straight back and stern face,
And the gloved hand grasping the silver hilts
Of a mighty sword. He does not look
From side to side, but walks with his gaze
Sure and bold ahead, on the future.
The time is come that he must make the throw
And trust to the fall of the dice.
His blood quickens, for here is the day
He has longed for, the day he begins
His road to glory and renown.
Men come to bloom even as roses,
They flower in the summer of their manhood,
Beautiful as heroes always are,
Keen eyed, certain of the call that wakes them.
The blue-sheened steel is sharp,
And the vambrace polished, glittering
With silver stars. He rises, and he lifts
His eyes to the westering sun.
Tomorrow, tomorrow.... The world opens
Before his feet, his to conquer.
The breeze freshens, and the petals fall
From the white rose. Someone passes,
Sees the falling sweetness like scented snow.
Touches the rose, and sees, with a little shiver,
That at its heart was canker.