Verse > Anthologies > > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse
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Arthur Quiller-Couch, comp.  The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse.  1922.
 
Fading-leaf and Fallen-leaf
By Richard Garnett (1835–1906)
 
SAID Fading-leaf to Fallen-leaf:—
  ‘I toss alone on a forsaken tree,
It rocks and cracks with every gust that racks
  Its straining bulk; say, how is it with thee?’
 
Said Fallen-leaf to Fading-leaf:—        5
  ‘A heavy foot went by, an hour ago;
Crushed into clay I stain the way;
  The loud wind calls me, and I cannot go.’
 
Said Fading-leaf to Fallen-leaf:—
  ‘Death lessons Life, a ghost is ever wise;        10
Teach me a way to live till May
  Laughs fair with fragrant lips and loving eyes.’
 
Said Fallen-leaf to Fading-leaf:—
  ‘Hast loved fair eyes and lips of gentle breath?
Fade then and fall—thou hast had all        15
  That Life can give: ask somewhat now of Death.’
 
 
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