A rose symbolizes all that is beautiful in nature and in God’s eyes, but all that gives off life must come to an end.
According to William Blake, a rose is precious, but needs to be nurtured. William Blake’s use of the written word
“Rose” in his poem is capitalized, not for beginning one of his short and brief lines, but instead to capture the
reader’s eye on the word “Rose” and the image itself (William Blake, line 1). With that image, what other rose can
be envisioned none other than a red “crimson” rose (line6)? The imagery that I have depicted from this rose is seeing
nothing but a deep sultry red, bright enough that it stands out to all that flies and lurks through the night.
Yet behind its beauty and appeal, its sickness which has overtaken this rose’s veins appeals to a darker being
enthralled by its slow and wilting death.
Seeing or hearing the word sickness we are drawn to the word death
and its dark unwelcoming claws. Sickness is a small beginning stage of death;
it comes in all shapes and sizes. For example, a human being can become deathly ill once bitten by a poisonous snake,
and in the rose’s perspective it too can become ill as soon as its life force and essence are taken over by
“the invisible worm” (line 2). As the worm “flies in the night”, it doesn’t necessarily mean the worm has wings (line 3).
Instead it is slithering under and over the dark soil, lurking and hunting its prey. Under ground the worm catches
the true glimpse of the rose’s heart and how much longer its life upholds. Just as anything in life we make a claim
over something or in nature mark our territory. In this case, Blake mentions that during the night, a “howling storm”
occurs (line 4). However, this could also indicate that the worm was marking its territory on the sick rose, claiming
it as its own and foremost to destroy.