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Sixteen years old when she died!
Perhaps she had scarcely heard my name, It was not her time to love; beside,
Her life had many a hope and aim,
And now was quiet, now astir,
And the sweet white brow is all of her.
Is it too late, then, Evelyn Hope?
What! your soul was pure and true; The good stars met in your horoscope,
Made you of spirit, fire, and dew; And just because I was thrice as old,
And our paths in the world diverged so wide, Each was naught to each, must I be told? We were fellow-mortals, - naught beside?
No, indeed! for God above
Is great to grant as mighty to make, And creates the love to reward the love;
I claim you still, for my own love's sake! Delayed, it may be, for more lives yet,
Through worlds I shall traverse, not a few; Much is to learn and much to forget
Ere the time be come for taking you.
But the time will come at last it will
When, Evelyn Hope, what meant, I shall say, In the lower earth, - in the years long still, That body and soul so pure and gay?
Why your hair was amber I shall divine,
And your mouth of your own geranium's red, And what you would do with me, in fine,
In the new life come in the old one's stead.
I have lived, I shall say, so much since then,
Given up myself so many times,
Ransacked the ages, spoiled the climes;
Either I missed or itself missed me,
What is the issue? let us see!
I loved you, Evelyn, all the while;
My heart seemed full as it could hold, There was place and to spare for the frank young
smile, And the red young mouth, and the hair's young
gold. So, hush! I will give you this leaf to keep;
See, I shut it inside the sweet, cold hand. There, that is our secret! go to sleep;
You will wake, and remember, and understand.
THE DEATH OF THE FLOWERS
BY WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT
The melancholy days are come, the saddest of the
year, Of wailing winds, and naked woods, and meadows brown and sere.
Heap'd in the hollows of the grove, the autumn 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
And from the wood-top calls the crow through all the
Where are the flowers, the fair young flowers, that
lately sprang and stood In brighter light and softer airs, a beauteous sister
hood? Alas! they all are in their graves; the gentle race of
flowers Are lying in their lowly beds with the fair and good of
The rain is falling where they lie; but the cold Novem
ber rain Calls not from out the gloomy earth the lovely ones
The wind-flower and the violet, they perish'd long
ago, And the brier-rose and the orchis died amid the sum
mer glow; But on the hill the golden-rod, and the aster in the
wood, And the yellow sunflower 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 up
land, 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 fra
grance late he bore, And sighs to find them in the wood and by the stream
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
So gentle and so beautiful, should perish with the
O MOTHER OF A MIGHTY RACE
BY WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT
O mother of a mighty race,
With words of shame
For on thy cheeks the glow is spread
Thy hopeful eye
Ay, let them rail, those haughty ones,
Would rise to throw
They know not, in their hate and pride,
What generous men