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
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
And the brightness of their smile was gonefrom uplandgladeand
And nowwhen comes the calm mild dayas still such days will
To call the squirrel and the bee from out their winter home
When the sound of dropping nuts is heardthough all the trees are
And twinkle in the smoky light the waters of the rill
The south wind searches for the flowers whose fragrance late he
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
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. - -