Caroline Bowles Southey

1786-1854

 

Autumn Flowers

by Caroline Bowles Southey

Those few pale Autumn flowers,
How beautiful they are!
Than all that went before,
Than all the Summer store,
How lovelier far!

And why? They are the last --
The last! -- the last! -- the last!
O, by that little word
How many thoughts are stirred
That sister of the past!

Pale flowers! pale, perishing flowers!
Ye're types of precious things;
Types of those bitter moments
That flit, like life's enjoyments,
On rapid, rapid wings --

Last hours with parting dear ones,
(That time the fastest spends,)
Last tears, in silence shed,
Last words, half-uttered,
Last looks of dying friends

Who but would fain compress
A life into a day?
The last day spent with one
Who, ere the morrow's sun,
Must leave us, and for aye?

O, precious, precious moments!
Pale flowers! ye're types of those, --
The saddest, sweetest, dearest, --
Because, like those, the nearest
Is an eternal close.

Pale flowers! pale, perishing flowers!
I woo your gentle breath;
I leave the Summer rose,
For younger, blither brows:
Tell me of change and death!

Source:

The Floral Wreath Of Autumn Flowers
Copyright 1850
Detroit: Kerr, Doughty and Lapham
 
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