Henry Timrod

On Pressing Some Flowers

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So, they are dead! Love! when they passed
From thee to me, our fingers met;
O withered darlings of the May!
I feel those fairy fingers yet.

And for the bliss ye brought me then,
Your faded forms are precious things;
No flowers so fair, no buds so sweet
Shall bloom through all my future springs.

And so, pale ones! with hands as soft
As if I closed a baby's eyes,
I'll lay you in some favorite book
Made sacred by a poet's sighs.

Your lips shall press the sweetest song,
The sweetest, saddest song I know,
As ye had perished, in your pride,
Of some lone bard's melodious woe.

Oh, Love! hath love no holier shrine!
Oh, heart! could love but lend the power,
I'd lay thy crimson pages bare,
And every leaf should fold its flower.

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Henry Timrod