My Darlings

MY Rose, so red and round,
My Daisy, darling of the summer weather,
You must go down now, and keep house together,
Low underground !
O little silver line
Of meadow water, ere the cloud rise darkling
Slip out of sight, and with your comely sparkling
Make their hearth shine.
Leaves of the garden bowers,
The frost is coming soon,—your prime is over;
So gently fall, and make a soft, warm cover
To house my flowers.
Lithe willow, too, forego
The crown that makes you queen of woodland graces,
Nor leave the winds to shear the lady tresses
From your drooped brow.
Oak, held by strength apart
From all the trees, stop now your stems from growing,
And send the sap, while yet ’t is bravely flowing,
Back to your heart.
And ere the autumn sleet
Freeze into ice, or sift to bitter snowing,
Make compact with your peers for overstrowing
My darlings sweet.
So when their sleepy eyes
Shall be unlocked by May with rainy kisses,
They to the sweet renewal of old blisses
Refreshed may rise.
Lord, in that evil day
When my own wicked thoughts like thieves waylay me,
Or when pricked conscience rises up to slay me,
Shield me, I pray.
Ay, when the storm shall drive,
Spread thy two blessed hands like leaves above me,
And with thy great love, though none else should love me,
Save me alive !
Heal with thy peace my strife ;
And as the poet with his golden versing
Lights his low house, give me, thy praise rehearsing,
To light my life.
Shed down thy grace in showers,
And if some roots of good, at thy appearing,
Be found in me, transplant them for the rearing
Of heavenly flowers.