Death of the Flower

I love my mother, the wildwood,
I sleep upon her breast;
A day or two of childhood,
And then I sink to rest.

I had once a lovely sister —
She was cradled by my side;
But one Summer day I missed her —
She had gone to deck a bride.

And I had another sister,
With cheeks all bright with bloom;
And another morn I missed her —
She had gone to wreathe a tomb.

And they told me they had withered,
On the bride's brow and the grave;
Half an hour, and all their fragrance
Died away, which heaven gave.

Two sweet-faced girls came walking
Thro' my lonely home one day,
And I overheard them talking
Of an altar on their way.

They were culling flowers around me,
And I said a little prayer
To go with them — and they found me —
And upon an altar fair,

Where the Eucharist was lying
On its mystical death-bed,
I felt myself a-dying,
While the Mass was being said.

But I lived a little longer,
And I prayed there all the day,
Till the evening Benediction,
When my poor life passed away.

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