A rose I give to you
This rose so fresh with fragrance rare,
Its petals bringing joy to you
The fairest of the fair.
Oh roses are like memories
They fade and pass above
But you dear heart will e’er remain
My fading flower of forgotten love.
— Fading Flower of Forgotten Love by Agnes Ellicott Strong
John Crowley (author of the AEgypt Tetralogy) has mentioned several times in his books a curious list: dogs, stones, stars, and roses. What can he mean by this?
I propose this is a metaphor (Meta-four?) for the four colors of the Magnum Opus: yellow dogs, black stones, white stars, and red roses.
At least until I find out otherwise!