Go to the forest shade; Seek thou the well-known glade Where, heavy with sweet dew, the violets lie, Gleaming through moss-tufts deep, Like dark eyes filled with sleep, And bathed in hues of summer's midnight sky. Bring me their buds, to shed Around my dying bed, A breath of May, and of the wood's repose; For I, in sooth, depart With a reluctant heart, That fain would linger where the bright sun glows. Fain would I stay with thee, — [Alas! this]1 must not be; Yet bring me still [the]2 gifts of happier hours! Go where the fountain's breast Catches, in glassy rest, The dim green light that pours through laurel bowers. I know how softly bright, Steeped in that tender light, The water-lilies tremble there, e'en now; Go to the pure stream's edge, And, from its whispering sedge, Bring me [those flowers]3, to cool my fevered brow. Then, — as in Hope's young days, — Track thou the antique maze Of the rich garden, to its grassy mound; There is a lone white rose, Shedding, in sudden snows, Its faint leaves o'er the emerald turf around! Well know'st thou that fair tree! — A murmur of the bee Dwells, ever, in the honied lime above; Bring me one pearly flower, Of all its clustering shower, — For, on that spot we first revealed our love! Gather one woodbine bough, Then, from the lattice low Of the bowered cottage which I bade thee mark, When, by the hamlet, last, Through dim wood-lanes, we passed, Where dews were glancing to the glow-worm's spark. Haste! to my pillow bear Those fragrant things, and fair; — My hand no more may bind them up at eve; Yet shall their odour soft One bright dream round me waft, Of life, youth, summer, — all that I must leave! And oh! if thou would'st ask Wherefore thy steps I task The grove, the stream, the hamlet-vale to trace; 'Tis that some thought of me — When I am gone, — may be The spirit bound to each familiar place. I bid mine image dwell, ([Oh!]4 break thou not the spell!) In the deep wood, and by the fountain side! Thou must not, my beloved! Rove where we two have roved, Forgetting her that in her spring-time died!
F. Arkwright sets stanzas 3-4, 9, 10, 8
About the headline (FAQ)View original text (without footnotes)
Confirmed with Poems of Felicia Hemans in Friendship’s Offering, compiled by Peter J. Bolton, 18261 Arkwright: "But oh! it"
2 Arkwright: "those"
3 Arkwright: "the flow'rs"
4 Arkwright: "And"
- by Felicia Dorothea (Browne) Hemans (1793 - 1835), "The last wish" [author's text checked 1 time against a primary source]
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)
- by Frances Arkwright (1787 - 1849), "The last flowers", stanzas 3-4, 9,10,8 [sung text checked 1 time]
Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Johann Winkler
This text was added to the website: 2020-12-07
Line count: 60
Word count: 382