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With these dead leaves stripped from a withered tree,
And slowly fluttering around us, gentle friend,
Some faithless soul a sad presage might blend;
To me they bring a happier augury;
Lives that shall bloom in genial sunshine free,
Nursed by the spell Love's dews and breezes send,
And when a kindly Fate shall speak the end
Down dropping in Time's autumn silently;
All hopes fulfilled, all passions duly blessed,
Life's cup of gladness drained, except the lees,
No more to fear or long for, but the rest
Which crowns existence with its dreamless ease;
Thus when our days are ripe, oh! let us fall
Into that perfect Peace which waits for all!

This work was published before January 1, 1924, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.