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Life is Short Poems

Table of Contents

  1. Falling Leaves by Colfax Burgoyne Harman
  2. I'm Free by Anonymous
  3. The Selfish Aim by Doris Kenyon
  4. The Passing of the Cabin by Horace Dumont Herr
  5. The Paradox of Time by Austin Dobson
  6. Time is Precious by Peter Burn
  7. The Joy of Hope by Peter Burn
  8. Time and Love by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

  1. Falling Leaves

    by Colfax Burgoyne Harman

    The leaves are falling fast.
    The green soon turns to gray.
    Life, color, beauty past,
    Then death and swift decay.

    The years are flying fast.
    Our heads will soon be gray,
    Ambition, power, past,
    Then comes the final day.

    O joy, while joy yet thrills!
    Aye love, while love is ours.
    Procrastination kills.
    Frost withers fragrant flowers.

    Dear Love, e'er eyes grow dim,
    E'er hearts grow strangely cold,
    Pray heed the prayer of him
    Whose grief is unconsoled.

  2. I'm Free

    by Anonymous

    Don’t grieve for me, for now I’m free
    I’m following the path God has laid you see.
    I took His hand when I heard him call
    I turned my back and left it all.

    I could not stay another day
    To laugh, to love, to work, to play.
    Tasks left undone must stay that way
    I found that peace at the close of day.

    If my parting has left a void
    Then fill it with remembered joy.
    A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss
    Oh yes, these things I too will miss.

    Be not burdened with times of sorrow
    I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow.
    My life’s been full, I savored much
    Good friends, good times, a loved one’s touch.

    Perhaps my time seemed all too brief
    Don’t lengthen it now with undue grief.
    Lift up your hearts and peace to thee
    God wanted me now; He set me free.

  3. The Selfish Aim

    by Doris Kenyon

    He sought it in life's fresh and dewy morn;
    In misty woodlands where the shadows lay;
    In summer fields amid the ripening corn;
    In meadows sweet with hay.

    Nor khamsin winds nor winter's vulpine tooth
    Could daunt him, nor a thousand anxious fears,
    For still he sought the fount of endless youth
    Through long and bitter years.

    Nor did he find it on the hoary hills,
    Among whose splintered crags he toiled in vain,
    Where the long thunder rolls and torn cloud spills
    Its cold and barren rain.

    He sought it by the ocean's tawny sands;
    Amid forgotten cities, gray and old;
    Love could not woo him with her beckoning hands,
    Nor friendship, fame nor gold.

    Then to the desert turned his weary feet.
    The unattained still luring all his soul,
    Till his strained eyes athwart the dazzling heat
    Beheld at length his goal.

    And there he digged, with heart grown old and seared,
    Until he found the spring, when lo! he stood
    Ringed round with mountains he himself had reared,
    And perished in the solitude.

  4. The Passing of the Cabin

    by Horace Dumont Herr

    The little log cabin
    In the edge of the wood
    Stands lone and forsaken
    Thro' sunshine and flood.

    The oaks throw their shadows,
    And the cottonwoods too,
    Upon the old roof-boards,
    And rains filter through.

    The fox-squirrel climbs o'er it,
    And he gnaws there his nut;
    There oft the quail perches,
    And whistles his note.

    There saucy woodpeckers
    With their hammers o£t beat
    On logs old and wormy,
    Then crow and retreat.

    The window is boarded,
    And the chinking drops out;
    Nailed up is the fireplace,
    And weeds grow about.

    The door with its latch-string
    From its wood-hinge is torn,
    On hinges of metal
    Another is borne.

    Near by is a railway,
    And behind is a road;
    But fronts to the forest
    This hut of the wood.

    The cabin is haunted.
    But be free of your fears,
    'Tis haunted with visions
    Of brave pioneers.

    Draw near this log temple,
    Open softly its door;
    Hang wasp-nests above you,
    Old traps crowd the floor.

    A shell that's left stranded
    By an outgoing tide,
    Stands mutely the cabin
    The clearing beside.

    Without and within it
    Are the marks of decay;
    The hut, like its master,
    Is passing away.

    The rays of the morning
    The woods veil away,
    But sunset glows o'er it
    At close of the day.

  5. The Paradox of Time

    by Austin Dobson

    Time goes, you say? Ah no!
    Alas, Time stays, we go;
    Or else, were this not so,
    What need to chain the hours,
    For Youth were always ours?
    Time goes, you say?—ah no!

    Ours is the eyes' deceit
    Of men whose flying feet
    Lead through some landscape low;
    We pass, and think we see
    The earth's fixed surface flee:—
    Alas, Time stays,—we go!

    Once in the days of old,
    Your locks were curling gold,
    And mine had shamed the crow.
    Now, in the self-same stage,
    We've reached the silver age;
    Time goes, you say?—ah no!

    Once, when my voice was strong,
    I filled the woods with song
    To praise your "rose" and "snow";
    My bird, that sang, is dead;
    Where are your roses fled?
    Alas, Time stays,—we go!

    See, in what traversed ways,
    What backward Fate delays
    The hopes we used to know;
    Where are our old desires?—
    Ah, where those vanished fires?
    Time goes, you say?—ah no!

    How far, how far, O Sweet,
    The past behind our feet
    Lies in the even-glow!
    Now, on the forward way,
    Let us fold hands, and pray;
    Alas, Time stays,—we go!

  6. Time is Precious

    by Peter Burn

    Ye careless souls, be wise,
    Of Time's swift course beware;
    For, like the meteor's glare,
    As soon as seen, it dies.

    To life fresh power give:
    Spend not your lives in ease,
    Each passing moment seize,
    And in the future live.

    Awake from lethargy!
    Behold, time swiftly flies,
    Like lightning o'er the skies,
    Into eternity.

  7. The Joy of Hope

    by Peter Burn

    When lonely and dejected,
    When weary and oppress'd,
    I love to think of heaven,
    That place of joy and rest;
    I love when trials meet me,
    And waves of trouble roll,
    To think upon the pleasures
    Which there await my soul.

    The path I tread is dreary,
    My lot, alas! is poor;
    But heaven's promised to me
    Why should I wish for more?
    This life is but a vapour,
    Which vanisheth away,
    Earth's pleasures are as flowers,
    They wither and decay.

    But, oh! the joys of heaven
    Are not like those of earth,
    They're real and enduring,
    No tongue can speak their worth;
    No mortal eye is able
    To picture aught so fair;
    No blight, no death, no sorrow,
    Are known to enter there.

  8. Time and Love

    by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

    Time flies. The swift hours hurry by
    And speed us on to untried ways;
    New seasons ripen, perish, die,
    And yet love stays.
    The old, old love—like sweet at first,
    At last like bitter wine—
    I know not if it blest or curst,
    Thy life and mine.

    Time flies. In vain our prayers, our tears
    We cannot tempt him to delays;
    Down to the past he bears the years,
    And yet love stays.
    Through changing task and varying dream
    We hear the same refrain,
    As one can hear a plaintive theme
    Run through each strain.

    Time flies. He steals our pulsing youth,
    He robs us of our care-free days;
    He takes away our trust and truth,
    And yet love stays.
    O Time! take love! When love is vain,
    When all its best joys die—
    When only its regrets remain—
    Let love, too, fly.

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