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THE LAST LEAF.
LONE trembling one!
Last of a summer race, withered and sear,
Thou hast seen all
The summer flowers reposing in their tomb,
And the green leaves, that knew thee in their bloom, Wither and fall!
The voice of Spring,
Which called thee into being, ne'er again
Will greet thee - nor the gentle Summer rain
But the lone sighing of the blast shall be
Yet a few days,
A few faint struggles with the Autumn storm,
In vain may gaze.
Pale Autumn leaf!
Thou art an emblem of mortality.
The broken heart, once young and fresh like thee, Withered by grief,
Whose leaves are fled,
Whose loved ones all have drooped and died away, Still clings to life and lingering, loves to stay
TO A LADY,
WITH A WITHERED LEAF.
WHAT offering can the minstrel bring,
Thou wouldst not prize the glittering gem, Thou wouldst but cast the pearl away;
For thine is now a diadem,
Of lustre brighter far than they.
I will not bring the spring-tide flower,
Its memory lives but for an hour
I would not thine should be as brief.
My heart!—but that has long been thine "Twere but a worthless offering;
The ruin of a rifled shrine,
A flower that fast is withering.
My song!-'tis but a mournful strain,
So deep in sorrow's mantle clad,
E'en echo will not wake again
The music of a strain so sad.
A wither'd leaf!·
nay, scorn it not,
Nor deem it all unworthy thee;
It grew upon a hallow'd spot,
And sacred is its memory.
I pluck'd it from a lonely bough,
That hung above my mother's grave, And felt, e'en then, that none but thou Could'st prize the gift affection gave.
She faded with the flowers of spring,
That o'er her lifeless form was cast,
And when I pluck'd this faded thing,
'Twas the last one! -- all - all were gone, They bloom'd not where the yew trees wave;
This leaf and I were left alone,
Pale watchers o'er my mother's grave.
I mark'd it, when full oft I sought
It linger'd there to mourn with me!
I've moisten'd it with many a tear,
I've hallow'd it with many a prayer: And while this bursting heart was clear From guilt's dark stain, I shrined it there.
Now, lady, now the gift is thine!
And I will kneel and worship there!