Friends! do you see in yon sunset sky,
That cloud of crimson bright?
Soon will its gorgeous colors die
In coming dim twilight;
E'en now it fadeth ray by ray -
Like it I too shall pass away!
Look on yon fragile summer flower
Yielding its sweet perfume;
Soon shall it have lived out its hour,
Its beauty and its bloom:
Trampled, 'twill perish in the shade -
Alas! as quickly shall I fade.
Mark you yon planet gleaming clear
With steadfast, gentle light,
See, heavy dark clouds hovering near,
Have veiled its radiance bright -
As you vainly search that gloomy spot,
You'll look for me and find me not!
Turn now to yonder sparkling stream,
Where silver ripples play;
Dancing within the moon's pale beam -
Ah! short will be their stay,
They break and die upon the shore -
Like them I soon shall be no more!
Yes! emblems meet of my career,
Are ripple, cloud, and flower;
Fated like me to linger here,
But for a brief, bright hour -
And then, alas! to yield my place;
And leave, perchance, on earth no trace!
No trace, my friends, save in your hearts,
That pure and sacred shrine -
Where, 'spite life's thousand cares and arts,
A place shall yet be mine;
And love as deep as that of yore -
Though on this earth we meet no more!