Verse > Anthologies > Alfred H. Miles, ed. > Women Poets of the Nineteenth Century
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Alfred H. Miles, ed.  Women Poets of the Nineteenth Century.  1907.
 
Miscellaneous Poems.
IV. The Hour of Death
By Felicia Dorothea Hemans (1793–1835)
 
    LEAVES have their time to fall,
And flowers to wither at the north wind’s breath,
  And stars to set; but all,
Thou hast all seasons for thine own, O Death!
 
    Day is for mortal care,        5
Eve, for glad meetings round the joyous hearth,
  Night, for the dreams of sleep, the voice of prayer;
But all for thee, thou mightiest of the earth!
 
    The banquet hath its hour—
Its feverish hour of mirth, and song, and wine;        10
  There comes a day for griefs o’erwhelming power,
A time for softer tears—but all are thine.
 
    Youth and the opening rose
May look like things too glorious for decay,
  And smile at thee—but thou art not of those        15
That wait the ripened bloom to seize their prey.
 
    Leaves have their time to fall,
And flowers to wither at the north-wind’s breath,
  And stars to set—but all,
Thou hast all seasons for thine own, O Death!        20
 
    We know when moons shall wane,
When summer birds from far shall cross the sea,
  When Autumn’s hue shall tinge the golden grain;
But who shall teach us when to look for thee?
 
    Is it when Spring’s first gale        25
Comes forth to whisper where the violets lie?
  Is it when roses in our paths grow pale?
They have one season—all are ours to die!
 
    Thou art where billows foam;
Thou art where music melts upon the air;        30
  Thou art around us in our peaceful home,
And the world calls us forth—and thou art there.
 
    Thou art where friend meets friend,
Beneath the shadow of the elm to rest—
  Thou art where foe meets foe, and trumpets rend        35
The skies, and swords beat down the princely crest.
 
    Leaves have their time to fall,
And flowers to wither at the north wind’s breath,
  And stars to set; but all,
Thou hast all seasons for thine own, O Death!        40
 
 
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