Thomas William Parsons


On a Magnolia Flower


Memorial of my former days,
Magnolia, as I scent thy breath,
And on thy pallid beauty gaze,
I feel not far from death!

So much hath happened! and so much
The tomb hath claimed of what was mine!
Thy fragrance moves me with a touch
As from a hand divine!

So many dead! so many wed!
Since first, by this Magnolia's tree,
I pressed a gentle hand, and said
A Word no more for me!

Lady, who sendest from the South
This frail, pale token of the past,
I press the petals to my mouth,
And sign --- as 'twere my last.

Oh, love, we live, but many fell!
The world's a wreck, but we survive! ---
Say, rather, still on earth we dwell,
But gray at thirty-five!






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