By George Herbert

I made a posy, while the day ran by;
Here will I smell my remnant out, and tie
My life within this band.
But time did beckon to the flowers, and they
By noon most cunningly did steal away,
And withered in my hand.

My hand was next to them, and then my heart:
I took, without more thinking, in good part
Time’s gentle admonition:
Who did so sweetly death’s sad taste convey,
Making my mind to smell my fatal day;
Yet sug’ring the suspicion.

Farewell dear flowers, sweetly your time ye spent,
Fit, while ye lived, for smell or ornament,
And after death for cures.
I follow straight without complaints or grief,
Since if my scent be good, I care not, if
It be as short as yours.

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If you enjoyed this, check out these other great poetry classics!

Poetry Classics: I Heard A Fly Buzz—When I Died, By Emily Dickinson

Poetry Classics: If, By Rudyard Kipling

Poetry Classics: I Cannot Live With You, By Emily Dickinson


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