(30 May 1835 – 2 June 1913 / Headingley)

An Autumn—blooming Rose

I found, and plucked, an autumn-blooming rose,
And shut my eyes, and scented all its savour:
When lo! as in the month the blackthorn blows,
Lambs 'gan to bleat, and merle and lark to quaver.

Flower of my life! inestimably dear,
Now that its calendar wanes sere and sober,
To me your freshness, turning back the year,
Makes that seem April others call October.

With me 'tis Autumn, and with you 'tis Spring,
But Love hath brought these seasons sweet together.
Within your leafy life I sit and sing,
And you with me share wealth of harvest weather.

Thus all things we exchange, and nothing lose:
Take you life's wisdom, lend to me life's sweetness.
Your vernal voice shall wed my mellow muse,
And song give youth, and youth give song, completeness.

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