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CXL.

THE DEATH OF THE FLOWERS.

The melancholy days are come,

The saddest of the year,
Of wailing winds, and naked woods,

And meadows brown and sere.
Heaped in the hollows of the grove,

The wither'd leaves lie dead;
They rustle to the eddying gust,

And to the rabbit's tread.
The robin and the wren are flown,

And from the shrubs the jay,
And from the wood-top calls the crow,

Through all the gloomy day.

Where are the flowers, the fair young flowers,

That lately sprang and stood
In brighter light and softer airs,

A beauteous sisterhood?
Alas, they all are in their graves ;

The gentle race of flowers
Are lying in their lowly beds,

With the fair and good of ours.
The rain is falling where they lie,
· But the cold November rain
Calls not from out the gloomy earth,

The lovely ones again.

The wind-flower and the violet,

They perished long ago,
And the briar-rose and the orchis died,

Amid the summer glow;

But on the hill the golden-rod,

And 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 heaven,

As falls the plague on men,
And the brightness of their smile was gone,

From upland, glade, and glen.

And now, when comes the calm, mild day,

As still such days will come,
To call the squirrel and the bee

From out their winter home;
When the sound of dropping nuts is heard,

Though 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 her,

When the forest cast the leaf,
And we wept that one so lovely

Should have a life so brief: Yet not unmeet it was that one,

Like that young friend of ours, So gentle and so beautiful,

Should perish with the flowers.

W. C. Bryant.

CXLI.

AUTUMN.

A Dirge.

The warm sun is failing, the bleak wind is wailing,
The bare boughs are sighing, the pale flowers are dying,

And the year
On the earth her death-bed, in a shroud of leaves dead,

. Is lying.
Come, months, come away,
From November to May,
In your saddest array;
Follow the bier

Of the dead cold year,
And like dim shadows watch by her sepulchre.

The chill rain is falling, the nipt worm is crawling,
The rivers are swelling, the thunder is knelling

For the year;
The blithe swallows are flown, and the lizards each gone

To his dwelling;
Come, months, come away;
Put on black, white and grey,
Let your light sisters play-
Ye, follow the bier

Of the dead cold year,
And make her grave green with tear on tear.

Shelley.

CXLII.

Leaves have their time to fall
And flowers to wither at the north-wind's breath,

And stars to set—but all,
Thou hast all seasons for thine own, O Death!

Day is for mortal care,
Eve, for glad meetings round the joyous hearth,

Night, for the dreams of sleep, the voice of prayerBut all for thee, thou mightiest of the earth.

The banquet hath its hour,
Its feverish hour of mirth, and song, and wine;

There comes a day for grief's o'erwhelming power, A time for softer tears—but all are thine.

Youth and the opening rose
May look like things too glorious for decay,

And smile at thee--but thou art not of those
That wait the ripened bloom to seize their prey.

We know when moons shall wane,
When Summer-birds from far shall cross the sea,

When autumn's hue shall tinge the golden grainBut who shall teach us when to look for thee!

Thou art where billows foam,
Thou art where music melts upon the air;

Thou art around us in our peaceful home,
And the world calls us forth—and thou art there.
- Thou art where friend meets friend,
Beneath the shadow of the elm to rest-

Thou art where foe meets foe, and trumpets rend The skies, and swords beat down the princely crest.

Leaves have their time to fall,
And flowers to wither at the north-wind's breath,

And stars to set—but all,
Thou hast all seasons for thine own, O Death!

Mrs. Hemans.

CXLIII.

Bright be thy dreams—may all thy weeping
Turn into smiles while thou art sleeping.

May those by death and seas removed,
The friends, who in thy spring-time knew thee,
• All, thou hast ever prized or loved,
In dreams come smiling to thee!

There may the child, whose love lay deepest,
Dearest of all, come while thou sleepest;

Still as she was no charm forgot-
No lustre lost that life had given;

Or, if changed, but changed to what Thou’lt find her yet in Heaven !

T. Moore.

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