The Reaper And The Flowers.
by Henry W. Longfellow
There is a Reaper whose name is Death,
And with his sickle keen,
He reaps the bearded grain at a breath,
And the flowers that grow between.
“Shall I have naught that is fair?” said he,
“Have naught but the bearded grain?
Though the breath of these flowers is sweet to me,
I will give them all back again.”
He gazed at the flowers with tearful eyes;
He kissed their drooping leaves;
It was for the Lord of paradise
He bound them in his sheaves.
“My Lord hath need of these flowerets gay,”
The reaper said, and smiled;
“Dear tokens of the earth are they,
Where he was once a child.
“They shall all bloom in fields of light,
Transplanted by my care,
And saints upon their garments white,
These sacred blossoms wear,”
And the mother gave in tears and pain
The flowers she most did love;
She knew she should find them all again
In fields of light above.
Oh, not in cruelty, not in wrath,
The reaper came that day;
‘Twas an angel visited the green earth,
And took the flowers away!