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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

Stanzas: ‘My life is like the summer rose’

By Richard Henry Wilde (1789–1847)

[Born in Dublin, Ireland, 1789. Died in New Orleans, La., 1847. Inscribed to Ellen Adair—Mrs. White-Beatty—Daughter of Gen. John Adair, of Kentucky.]

MY life is like the summer rose,

That opens to the morning sky,

But, ere the shades of evening close,

Is scattered on the ground—to die!

Yet on the rose’s humble bed

The sweetest dews of night are shed,

As if she wept the waste to see—

But none shall weep a tear for me!

My life is like the autumn leaf

That trembles in the moon’s pale ray:

Its hold is frail—its date is brief,

Restless—and soon to pass away!

Yet, ere that leaf shall fall and fade,

The parent tree will mourn its shade,

The winds bewail the leafless tree—

But none shall breathe a sigh for me!

My life is like the prints, which feet

Have left on Tampa’s desert strand;

Soon as the rising tide shall beat,

All trace will vanish from the sand;

Yet, as if grieving to efface

All vestige of the human race,

On that lone shore loud moans the sea—

But none, alas! shall mourn for me!