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The Reaper and the Flowers

by
 There is a Reaper, whose name is Death,
And, with his sickle keen,
He reaps the bearded grain at a breath,
And the flowers that grow between.
"Shall I have naught that is fair?" saith he; "Have naught but the bearded grain? Though the breath of these flowers is sweet to me, I will give them all back again.
" He gazed at the flowers with tearful eyes, He kissed their drooping leaves; It was for the Lord of Paradise He bound them in his sheaves.
"My Lord has need of these flowerets gay," The Reaper said, and smiled; "Dear tokens of the earth are they, Where he was once a child.
"They shall all bloom in fields of light, Transplanted by my care, And saints, upon their garments white, These sacred blossoms wear.
" And the mother gave, in tears and pain, The flowers she most did love; She knew she should find them all again In the fields of light above.
O, not in cruelty, not in wrath, The Reaper came that day; 'T was an angel visited the green earth, And took the flowers away.

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