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1825

THE DEATH OF THE FLOWERS

by William Cullen Bryant

THE DEATH OF THE FLOWERS -

The melancholy days are comethe saddest of the year

Of wailing windsand naked woodsand meadows brown and sere.

Heaped in the hollows of the grovethe autumn leaves lie dead;

They rustle to the eddying gustand to the rabbit's tread;

The robin and the wren are flownand from the shrubs the jay

And from the wood-top calls the crow through all the gloomy day. -

Where are the flowersthe fair young flowersthat lately sprang

and stood

In brighter light and softer airsa beauteous sisterhood?

Alas! they all are in their gravesthe gentle race of flowers

Are lying in their lowly bedswith the fair and good of ours.

The rain is falling where they liebut the cold November rain

Calls not from out the gloomy earth the lovely ones again. -

The wind-flower and the violetthey perished long ago

And the brier-rose and the orchis died amid the summer glow;

But on the hills the golden-rodand the aster in the wood

And the yellow sun-flower by the brook in autumn beauty stood

Till fell the frost from the clear cold heavenas falls the plague

on men

And the brightness of their smile was gonefrom uplandgladeand

glen. -

And nowwhen comes the calm mild dayas still such days will

come

To call the squirrel and the bee from out their winter home

When the sound of dropping nuts is heardthough all the trees are

still

And twinkle in the smoky light the waters of the rill

The south wind searches for the flowers whose fragrance late he

bore

And sighs to find them in the wood and by the stream no more. -

And then I think of one who in her youthful beauty died

The fair meek blossom that grew up and faded by my side.

In the cold moist earth we laid herwhen the forests cast the

leaf

And we wept that one so lovely should have a life so brief:

Yet not unmeet it was that onelike that young friend of ours

So gentle and so beautifulshould perish with the flowers. - -

THE END




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