Verse > Anthologies > Ralph Waldo Emerson, ed. > Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry
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Ralph Waldo Emerson, comp. (1803–1882).  Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry.  1880.
 
Life
By George Herbert (1593–1633)
 
I MADE a posie while the day ran by:
Here will I smell my remnant out, and tie
    My life within this band.
But Time did beckon to the flowers, and they
By noon most cunningly did steal away,        5
    And withered in my hand.
 
My hand was next to them, and then my heart;
I took, without more thinking, in good part
    Time’s gentle admonition;
Who did so sweetly Death’s sad taste convey,        10
Making my mind to smell my fatal day,
    Yet sugaring the suspicion.
 
Farewell, dear flowers, sweetly your time ye spent,
Fit, while you lived, for smell and ornament,
    And after death for cures.        15
I follow straight without complaints or grief;
Since, if my scent be good, I care not if
    It be as short as yours.
 
 
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