Low at my feet there lies to-night
A crushed and withered rose;
Within its heart of fading red
No crimson fire glows;
For o'er its leaves the frost of death
Steals like an icy breath;
And soon 't will vanish from my sight,
A thing of gloom and death.
Ah! beauteous flower, once thou wert
My pleasure and my pride;
And now when thou art old and worn
I will not turn aside;
But gently o'er thy faded leaves
I'll shed one kindly tear;
That thou wilt know, though dead and gone,
To memory thou art dear.
Before my gaze there lies to-night
A rose-bud fresh and fair;
And like the breath of dewy morn
Its fragrance scents the air.
This fragile flower I fain would pluck
With hand most kind yet bold;
And watch its petals day by day
Their shining wealth unfold.
And soon 'twill be my very own
To keep forevermore:
This flower that bloomed for me alone
Upon a heavenly shore.
God grant my hands may guard it well
And keep it pure and fair;
For angel hands have gathered it
And placed it in my care.
Then fare thee well, thou dying year,
Thou art my withered rose;
And on the stem where once thou wert,
Another flower grows;
Yet fear thee not, when thou are dead,
To thee I'll still be true;
And 'mid the joys of other years
I still will think of you.