Life (Herbert)

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Life
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 sugaring 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.'"

This work was published before January 1, 1923, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.