Verse > Anthologies > Andrew Macphail, ed. > The Book of Sorrow
Andrew Macphail, comp.  The Book of Sorrow.  1916.
XVI. Crossed Hands and Closed Eyes
New-Mown Hay
By Andrew Macphail (1864–1938)
From Hélène Vacaresco’s ‘Le Rhapsode de la Dimbovita’

I AM the flowers of yesterday.
I have drunk of my last dew.
Young maidens sang at my death
And the moon sees me laid
In my dewy shroud.        5
And yesterday’s flowers, which yet live in me,
Have given place to flowers of to-morrow.
And the young girls who sang at my death,—
Youth is the time for singing,—
Must needs themselves give way        10
To maidens following after.
And as my soul, so their soul too,
Laden with fragrance, will remain.
But to-morrow’s maidens never will know
That I did blossom once.        15
They will gaze upon other flowers;
But my sweetly-scented soul
Will recall to the minds of women
The days when they were young.
And they will regret that they sang as I died.        20
I bear with me also the sorrow of butterflies,
The sun’s remembrance,
And the murmurs of spring.
My fragrance is sweet as a child’s first word,
My essence is drawn from the fecund earth:        25
It will long outlive my life.
I say to the flowers of to-morrow, born of my roots,
Love the sun as we have loved:
Love all lovers and the birds,
So when they see you bloom afresh        30
They will not think upon my death,
But always dream these are the self-same flowers
Even as the sun, who thinks he always sees
The same flowers and birds upon the earth,
Because he is immortal,        35
And never thinks of death.

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