The sweetest blossoms die.
And so it was that, going day by day
Unto the church to praise and pray,
And crossing the green churchyard thoughtfully,
I saw how on the graves the flowers
Shed their fresh leaves in showers,
And how their perfume rose up to the sky
Before it passed away.
The youngest blossoms die.
They die, and fall and nourish the rich earth 10
From which they lately had their birth;
Sweet life, but sweeter death that passeth by
And is as though it had not been:--
All colors turn to green:
The bright hues vanish, and the odours fly,
The grass hath lasting worth.
And youth and beauty die.
So be it, O my God, Thou God of truth:
Better than beauty and than youth
Are Saints and Angels, a glad company; 20
And Thou, O lord, our Rest and Ease,
Are better far than these.
Why should we shrink from our full harvest? why
Prefer to glean with Ruth?