The Fading Flower
By Will Carleton
There is a chillness in the air—
A coldness in the smile of day;
And e’en the sunbeam’s crimson glare
Seems shaded with a tinge of gray.
Weary of journeys to and fro,
The sun low creeps adown the sky;
And on the shivering earth below,
The long, cold shadows grimly lie.
But there will fall a deeper shade,
More chilling than the Autumn’s breath:
There is a flower that yet must fade,
And yield its sweetness up to death.
She sits upon the window-seat,
Musing in mournful silence there,
While on her brow the sunbeams meet,
And dally with her golden hair.
Hopes unfulfilled have vexed her breast,
Sad smiles have checked the rising sigh;
Until her weary heart confessed,
Reluctantly, that she must die.
And she has thought of all the ties—
The golden ties—that bind her here;
Of all that she has learned to prize,
Of all that she has counted dear;
The joys of body, heart, and mind,
The pleasures that she loves so well;
The grasp of friendship, warm and kind,
And love’s delicious, hallowed spell.
And she has wept, that she must lie
Beneath the snow-wreaths, drifted deep,
With no fond mother standing nigh,
To watch her in her silent sleep.
And she has prayed, if it might be
Within the reach of human skill,
And not averse to Heaven, that she
Might live a little longer still.
But earthly hope is gone; and now
Comes in its place a brighter beam,
Leaving upon her snowy brow
The impress of a heavenly dream:
That she, when her frail body yields,
And fades away to mortal eyes,
Shall burst through Heaven’s eternal fields,
And bloom again—in Paradise.