Literary Gazette, 24th May 1823, Page 332-333
Twine not those red roses for me,—
Darker and sadder my wreath must be;
Mine is of flowers unkissed by the sun,
Flowers which died as the Spring begun.
The blighted leaf and the cankered stem
Are what should form my diadem.
Take that rose—it is nipt by the blast;
That lily—the blight has over it past;
That peach-bud—a worm has gnawed it away;
Those violets—they were culled yesterday:
Bind them with leaves from the dark yew tree,
Then come and offer the wreath to me.
Let every flower be a flower of Spring,
But on each be a sign of withering;
Suited to me is the drooping wreath,
With colourless hues and scentless breath;
Seek ye not buds of brighter bloom,
Why should their beauty waste on the tomb?
I am too young for death, you say:
Fall not and fade not the green leaves in May?
Does not the rose in its light depart?
Needs there long life to break the heart?
I have felt the breath of the deadly power,—
My summons is come, and I know mine hour!
There came a voice to my sleeping ear,
With words of sorrow and words of fear,
Its sound was the roll of the mountain wave,
Its breath was damp as an opening grave;
My heart grew colder at every word,
For I knew 'twas the voice of Death I heard!
It summoned me, and I wept to die,—
Oh, fair is life to the youthful eye!
Time may come with his shadowy wing,
But who can think on Autumn in Spring?
With so much of hope, and of light, and of bloom,
Marvel ye that I shrunk from my doom?