Was it worth while to paint so fair
Thy every leaf—to vein with faultless art
Each petal, taking the boon light and air
Of summer so to heart?
To bring thy beauty unto perfect flower,
Then, like a passing fragrance or a smile,
Vanish away, beyond recovery's power—
Was it, frail bloom, worth while?
Thy silence answers: "Life was mine!
And I, who pass without regret or grief,
Have cared the more to make my moment fine,
Because it was so brief.
"In its first radiance I have seen
The sun!—why tarry then till comes the night?
I go my way, content that I have been
Part of the morning light!"