Apple-green west and an orange bar,
And the crystal eye of a lone, one star . . .
And, "Child, take the shears and cut what you will,
Frost to-night -- so clear and dead-still."
Then, I sally forth, half sad, half proud,
And I come to the velvet, imperial crowd,
The wine-red, the gold, the crimson, the pied, --
The dahlias that reign by the garden-side.
The dahlias I might not touch till to-night!
A gleam of the shears in the fading light,
And I gathered them all, -- the splendid throng,
And in one great sheaf I bore them along.
. . . . .
In my garden of Life with its all-late flowers
I heed a Voice in the shrinking hours:
"Frost to-night -- so clear and dead-still" . . .
Half sad, half proud, my arms I fill.
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