Poppies

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These are the flowers of sleep
That nod in the heavy noon,
Ere the brown shades eastward creep
To a drowsy and dreamful tune —
These are the flowers of sleep.

Love's lilies are passion-pale,
But these on the sun-kissed flood
Of the corn, that rolls breast deep,
Burn redder than drops of blood
On a dead king's golden mail.

Heart's dearest, I would that we
These blooms of forgetfulness
Might bind on our brows, and steep
Our love in Lethe ere less
Grow its flame with thee or me.

When Time with his evil eye
The beautiful Love has slain,
There is nought to gain or keep
Thereafter, and all is vain.
Should we wait to see Love die?

Sweetheart, of the joys men reap
We have reaped; 'tis time to rest.
Why should we wake but to weep?
Sleep and forgetting is best —
These are the flowers of sleep.

This work is in the public domain in Australia because it was created in Australia and the term of copyright has expired.

See Australian Copyright Council - Duration of Copyright (August 2014).


This work is also in the public domain in the United States because it was in the public domain in Australia in 1996, and no copyright was registered in the U.S. (This is the combined effect of Australia having joining the Berne Convention in 1928, and of 17 USC 104A with its critical date of January 1, 1996.)

This work was published before January 1, 1924, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.