My darling laughed in the dawning, And the birds perched low to hear. The quick sprung anew from dead ashes That Spring's passing feet had flung clear. Oh, Life came over the meadows, And the song of her coming was sweet; The streams leaped joy-mad down the mountains, Flowers bloomed 'neath her dawning feet. The trees bent their branches fruit-laden, So low as her soft hands' hold; And the harvest rose up like an army Of kings in their harness of gold. Oh, Life came over the meadows From her home behind the sun; No mind could guess whence her being, Where she went when her work was done. As she danced, danced Death the cold shadow That was cast by her body so fair. My darling laughed in the dawning, Life's hand on her sunny hair. My darling slept in the dawning, Then came to my heart a fear; For peace may be lost in the darkness, And joy be drowned in a tear. I whispered ‘Sleep in the singing, When the buds are breaking to bloom, Each branch with its load low-swinging, Each flower with its faint perfume; When the world is young with laughter, Mankind on his throne a king, When the soul sings of a Hereafter, And is not ashamed to sing.’ Then Life faded into her shadow, And Death took her form and was fair. My darling smiled in her sleeping, Death's hand on her sunny hair.
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