Ye pressed and faded flowers, once so gay,
Alas! now dead —
Sad remnants are ye of a happy day
That long has fled.
Ah! well remember I the garden fair,
In which ye grew,
The brightest flowers with thee blossom’d there;
Blithe swallows flew
Towards their tiny nests below the eaves;
The summer breeze
Soft whisper’d rustling through the quivering leaves
Of linden trees,
Upon the terraced lawn.
The swallaws now, to warmer southern climes,
Away have flown,
Now fall the brown leaves slowly from the limes,
The ground is strewn.
And naught is left to me of those dear hours
I pass’d with thee,
But recollection, and these faded flowers,
Then plucked for me,
Now — how unlike them when in light they beamed
In scented air,
And in bright sunshine jewel dewdrops gleamed
On petals fair,
Upon the terraced lawn.
The day returns no more — thou art away,
All — all is past,
The flowers then gather’d fresh — now where are they?
Dried, — dead at last!
Yet as they still their form and colour keep,
Though life has flown,
Their memory with magic touch can sweep,
And wake the tone
Of long lost chords, dreamlike, bring back to me
Once more the hours
I spent beneath the linden trees with thee,
Amid the flowers
Upon the terraced lawn.
The iron hands of Time our joys will clasp,
They ne’er return,
Fair flow’rets wither in his cruel grasp,
In vain we mourn,
And sighing would reclaim them; yet the hand
That takes can give,
And other blossoms on the barren land
Ere long will live,
So, though those hours to me return no more,
I hope always
The time that stole them may to me restore
Some happy days,
Upon the terraced lawn.

by William Barnes

Model: Ilia