Clement Clark Moore's Poetry
Clement Clark Moore
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Clement C. Moore Poetry Manuscript

For a Basket of Flowers

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To a young lady who sent me a basket of flowers
and a kind note on my seventy second birth day
July 15, 1851

A thousand thanks, my young and lovely friend,
Thanks for thy breathing flowrets' mingled bloom,
Whose tints in harmony blend,
And seem to glory in their rich perfume.

But from the breathings of thy gentle breast,
Toward one whose span of life must soon be past,
I draw a pleasure of still higher zest,
Untainted pleasure that with life shall last.

For all the fragrance of a short-lived flower
Can but to outward sense a joy impart;
While genuine friendship's breath hath e'en the power
To teach an old and sorrow-stricken heart.

Thou hast, in all the fervor of thy mind,
Pour'd forth the hope, by mortals held most dear,
That to this earth I still may be confin'd,
Nor part from life for many and many a year.

Happy young creature! whom the touch of wo
Hath never taught to know this world aright;
Around whose steps the flowers of pleasure blow;
Whose paths are smooth and all whose skies are bright.

Long cloudless be the sunshine of thy skies!
And long may gentle zephyrs round thee play!
And should dark mists about thee e'er arise,
May sunbeams cheer the ev'ning of thy day!

For me, the shades of night are drawing near.
Nor do I shun to muse upon that hour,
But trust to meet the gloom, devoid of fear,
Securely resting on Immortal Power.

Yet, when my fading days grow chill and drear,
And I am warn'd my spirit to resign,
Still would I fain delay, could I still hear
The tones of friendship breath'd from lips like thine.


Museum of the City of New York
Poetry Manuscript Book of Clement C. Moore
Accession Number: 54.331.1 (7662)


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