Beyond the wall the distant roses shone,
the roses not their roses, not their own.
For this side of the barrier was blear,
the soil stony, desolate, and sere.
Yet still the people planted many a seed,
and tilled the ground of thorns that made them bleed.
For past the wall they saw the hope of blooms
surrounding mansions full of lighted rooms.
Why not on this side? Why not here, and now,
if they but kept their hands upon the plow?
No one delights in work that brings no flower,
and no one knows the day, nor knows the hour,
when that divide which keeps them from that land
will crumble down forever into sand,
a sandy shore where they may cross into
that garden full of roses. As for you,
and as for me, we wait until that day
when we will know the roses in our way.