They know the time to go!
The fairy clocks strike their inaudible hour
In field and woodland, and each punctual flower
Bows at the signal an obedient head
And hastes to bed.
The pale Anemone
Glides on her way with scarcely a good-night;
The Violets tie their purple nightcaps tight;
Hand clasped in hand, the dancing Columbines,
In blithesome lines,
Drop their last courtesies,
Flit from the scene, and couch them for their rest;
The Meadow Lily folds her scarlet vest
And hides it 'neath the Grasses' lengthening green;
Fair and serene,
Her sister Lily floats
On the blue pond, and raises golden eyes
To court the golden splendor of the skies,--
The sudden signal comes, and down she goes
To find repose,
In the cool depths below,
A little later, and the Asters blue
Depart in crowds, a brave and cheery crew;
While Golden-rod, still wide awake and gay,
Turns him away,
Furls his bright parasol,
And, like a little hero, meets his fate.
The Gentians, very proud to sit up late,
Next follow. Every Fern is tucked and set
Downy and soft and warm.
No little seedling voice is heard to grieve
Or make complaints the folding woods beneath;
No lingerer dares to stay, for well they know
The time to go.
Teach us your patience, brave,
Dear flowers, till we shall dare to part like you,
Willing God's will, sure that his clock strikes true,
That his sweet day augurs a sweeter morrow,
With smiles, not sorrow.