To a violet that faded on my coat at Natchez, Miss. March 8th, 1902.
Alas! thou lovely floweret wee,
Fate blew a blighting breath
Upon the delicate form of thee, -
Thou'st met untimely death!
Thou blowest, blushest nevermore,
To drink the dews of night;
Thy sweet though short-lived life is o'er,
Thou seest no more the light.
'Twas vain! aye, vain! the selfish strife
That drooped thy purple crest;
Some swain or maiden took thy life,
To deck a love-lorn breast.
Ah, floweret wee, the God who made
All in the earth and sky,
Decreed that thou should blow and fade, -
All else should live and die!
Now, he who wails the floweret's fate,
And all the rest of man,
Must meet that fate, aye soon or late,
And scale their measured span.
We are but flowers that blush and blow,
As flight of years rolls on,
With time and tide's cold ebb and flow -
'Tis said - "He's dead and gone!"
For as the maid clips off the stems
Where once the flowers have been,
So angels pluck earth's rarest gems,
Immortal souls of men!
The flower fadeth into air,
From whence its life is given -
But man's soul shining rich and rare
Ascendeth into heaven.