Bring flowers, young flowers, for the festal board,
To wreathe the cup ere the wine is pour'd;
Bring flowers! they are springing in wood and vale,
Their breath floats out on the southern gale,
And the touch of the sunbeam hath waked the rose,
To deck the hall where the bright wine flows.
Bring flowers to strew in the conqueror's path-
He hath shaken thrones with his stormy wrath!
He comes with the spoils of nations back,
The vines lie crush'd in his chariot's track,
The turf looks red where he won the day-
Bring flowers to die in the conqueror's way!
Bring flowers to the captive's lonely cell,
They have tales of the joyous woods to tell;
Of the free blue streams, and the glowing sky,
And the bright world shut from his languid eye;
They will bear him a thought of the sunny hours,
And a dream of his youth-bring him flowers, wild flowers!
Bring flowers, fresh flowers, for the bride to wear!
They were born to blush in her shining hair.
She is leaving the home of her childhood's mirth,
She hath bid farewell to her father's hearth,
Her place is now by another's side-
Bring flowers for the locks of the fair young bride!
Bring flowers, pale flowers, o'er the bier to shed,
A crown for the brow of the early dead!
For this through its leaves hath the white-rose burst,
For this in the woods was the violet nurs'd.
Though they smile in vain for what once was ours,
They are love's last gift-bring ye flowers, pale flowers!
Bring flowers to the shrine where we kneel in prayer,
They are nature's offering, their place is there!
They speak of hope to the fainting heart,
With a voice of promise they come and part,
They sleep in dust through the wintry hours,
They break forth in glory-bring flowers, bright flowers!