Littell's Living Age/Volume 115/Issue 1489/The Lesson of the Leaf-Fall
Naught that is human dureth long:
And well the old-world poem ran —
"As fall the leaves, so falleth man."
Yet who will heed that warning song?
The ear, but not the heart, we ope,
When come those words to us addressed;
For still there burneth in the breast
The oft delusive fire of Hope.
Life's happy flowers resolved to tend
Through sunshine hours, presumptuous man
Formeth bold scheme and daring plan,
Which never gain their purposed end.
We live as though there were no death —
As though our being's boundless wealth No limit knew, nor failing health
Came ever down to stop the breath.
O fools and blind, to quite forget
How soon our youth-tide passeth by: How soon within the darkening sky
Our very sun of life shall set!,
Then be life's lesson, from' life's goal,
Well laid to heart and understood — In all that's beautiful and good
Delight betimes, O man, thy soul.