The Sick Rose
by William Blake
The Sick Rose Love Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Line numbers
O rose thou art sick (1)
Roses are often symbols of love, but in this poem our symbol is feeling a little under the weather. It's almost as if love is sick as well; this makes sense when we consider that later in the poem, love is "dark and secret" and performs an act of destruction.
Has found out they bed
Of crimson joy (5-6)
These lines describe something that is a "joy" to the rose, but we're not really sure what it is. The phrase "crimson joy" reminds us of intense passion—maybe love, seeing as how we've been talking about roses. The fact that the worm discovers it suggests something about tarnishing or corrupting what are supposed to be good things, like love.