Daily Dying

NOT in a moment drops the rose
That in a summer garden grows:
A robin sings beneath the tree
A twilight song of ecstasy,
And the red, red leaves at its fragrant heart,
Trembling so in delicious pain,
Fall to the ground with a sudden start,
And the grass is gay with a crimson stain;
And a honey-bee, out of the fields of clover,
Heavily flying the garden over,
Brushes the stem as it passes by,
And others fall where the heart-leaves lie,
And air and dew, ere the night is done,
Have stolen the petals, every one.

And sunset's gleam of gorgeous dyes
Ne'er with one shadow fades away,
But slowly o'er those radiant skies
There steals the evening cold and gray,
And amber and violet linger still
When stars are over the eastern hill.

The maple does not shed its leaves
In one tempestuous scarlet rain,
But softly, when the south wind grieves,
Slow-wandering over wood and plain,
One by one they waver through
The Indian Summer's hazy blue,
And drop, at last, on the forest mould,
Coral and ruby and burning gold.

Our death is gradual, like to these;
We die with every waning day;
There is no waft of sorrow's breeze
But bears some heart-leaf slow away!
Up and on to the vast To Be
Our life is going eternally!
Less of earth than we had last year
Throbs in your veins and throbs in mine,
But the way to heaven in growing clear,
While the gates of the city fairer shine,
And the day that our latest treasures flee,
Wide they will open for you and me!
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