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A SONG OF DUST, by                     Poet's Biography
First Line: When we, my love, are gone to dust
Last Line: One farewell kiss before we go.
Alternate Author Name(s): Lancaster, William P.; Preston, George F.; De Tabley, 3d Baron; De Tabley, Lord
Subject(s): Farewell; Love; Parting

When we, my love, are gone to dust,
And nature, as of old, is fair:
When on thy rosy cheek is rust,
And stain sepulchral on thy hair;

When from the slab, that marks our sleep,
The raindrop eats our names away:
And cushioned lichens gently creep
To make the beaming letters gray;

These tears, I weep upon thy hand,
Shall pass as leaves in autumn air,
And who unborn shall understand,
If thou wert sweet, if thou wert fair?

Who shall explain this lovely thing
To generations yet to be?
Will evanescent beauty wing
Her flight to dim futurity?

No lease is hers of lengthened hours:
Her love, a momentary ray,
Crisping the calyx of the flowers,
Is sped before the lift of day.

A little while the whitethorn blows,
And all the grasses rarely spring.
Then crimsons out the wild field rose,
And swallows rest their travelled wing.

And fair are maidens in their prime;
And lovers pledge eternal truth,
When for an hour the cup of Time
Is nectar on the lips of youth.

Love and the nest of birds are sweet;
Till, like a broke hope, the flower,
Warm at the early sunbeam's feet,
Lies shattered cold at evening's hour.

The ages in an endless tide
Advance their still encroaching feet:
The present, like a golden bride,
Is faultless for an hour and sweet.

Time will not stay for thee, my love,
The clouds are coming and the snow;
The thunder rocks the realms above--
One farewell kiss before we go.

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