The Bird of Time/Songs of Love and Death/In Remembrance—Violet Clarke

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In Remembrance

Violet Clarke—died March 21, 1909

With eager knowledge of our ancient lore,
And prescient love of all our ancient race,
You came to us, with gentle hands that bore
Bright gifts of genius, youth, and subtle grace,

Our shrines, our sacred streams, our sumptuous art,
Old hills that scale the sky's unageing dome,
Recalled some long-lost rapture to your heart,
Some far-off memory of your spirit's home.

We said: "She comes, an exquisite, strange flower

From the rich gardens of a northern king". . .
But lo! our souls perceived you in that hour
The very rose whereof our poets sing.

Who sped your beauty's seed across the sea,
Bidding you burgeon in that alien clime?
And what prophetic wind of destiny
Restored you to us in your flowering time

For a brief season to delight and bless
Our hearts with delicate splendour and perfume,
Till Death usurped your vivid loveliness
In wanton envy of its radiant bloom?

O frail, miraculous flower, tho' you are dead,
The deathless fragrance of your spirit cleaves
To the dear wreath whereon our tears are shed,
Of your sweet wind-blown and love-garnered Leaves.[1]

  1. "Leaves" is the title of her book of stories, published after her death.