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The Last Chrysanthemum

By Thomas Hardy (1840-1928)

Why should this flower delay so long
     To show its tremulous plumes?
Now is the time of plaintive robin-song,
     When flowers are in their tombs.

Through the slow summer, when the sun
     Called to each frond and whorl
That all he could for flowers was being done,
     Why did it not uncurl?

It must have felt that fervid call
     Although it took no heed,
Waking but now, when leaves like corpses fall,
     And saps all retrocede.

Too late its beauty, lonely thing,
     The season's shine is spent,
Nothing remains for it but shivering
     In tempests turbulent.

Had it a reason for delay,
     Dreaming in witlessness
That for a bloom so delicately gay
     Winter would stay its stress?

- I talk as if the thing were born
     With sense to work its mind;
Yet it is but one mask of many worn
     By the Great Face behind.

Mums Medley Ladies shirt

This beautiful chrysanthemum design is available in a large selection of t-shirts and gifts.

Published 1901


Please send questions or comments to: sue@designsbysusan.com

Copyright © 2007-2011 Susan Savad
Last Modified December 8, 2007