Dinah Maria Mulock Craik

Let them lie, yes, let them lie,
They'll be dead to-morrow:
Lift the lid up quietly
As you'd lift the mystery
Of a shrouded sorrow.

Let them lie, the fragrant things,
Their sweet souls thus giving:
Let no breezes' ambient wings,
And no useless water-springs
Lure them into living.

They have lived, they live no more:
Nothing can requite them
For the gentle life they bore
And up-yielded in full store
While it did delight them.

Yet, poor flowers, not sad to die
In the hand that slew ye,
Did ye leave the open sky,
And the winds that wandered by,
And the bees that knew ye.

Giving up a small earth place,
And a day of blooming,
Here to lie in narrow space,
Smiling in this sickly face,
This dull air perfuming?

O my pretty violets dead,
Coffined from all gazes,
We will also smiling shed
Out of our flowers witherèd,
Perfume of sweet praises.

And as ye, for this poor sake,
Love with life are buying,
So, I doubt not, one will make
All our gathered flowers to take
Richer scent through dying.

Violets sent in a little box.

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