Henry Clay Work (1 October 1832 – 8 June 1884 / Middletown, Connecticut)
Off on the prairie, where the balmy air
Kisses the waving corn,
There lives a farmer, with a daughter fair--
Fair as a summer's morn!
She has a nature gentle as a dove,
Pure as the mountain snows;
Say! is it strange that everyone should love--
Love such a girl as Rose?
Beautiful Rose! lovely Rose!
Pride of the prairie bower!
Everybody loves her--everybody knows
She is the fairest flower.
Rose is a lady yet from early dawn,
Labors her skillful hand;
She is the housewife, now her mother's gone--
Gone to the better land.
Rose has the beauty--father has the gold--
Both will be hers one day;
For she is young, while he is growing old--
Old people pass away.
Clerks from the city, plowmen from the field,
Lords from a foreign land;
Each in their turn have very humbly kneeled--
Kneeled for her heart and hand.
But to them all she made the same reply--
Kindly but firmly, "No!"
And none but I can tell the reason why--
Why she should treat them so.
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