See the leaves around us falling,
Dry and withered, to the ground
Thus to thoughtless mortals calling,
In a sad and solemn sound,
Sons of Adam (once in Eden
Where, like us, he blighted fell),
Hear the lesson we are reading;
Mark the awful truth we tell.
Youth, on length of days presuming,
Who the paths of pleasure tread,
View us, late in beauty blooming,
Numbered now among the dead.
What though yet no losses grieve you,
Gay with health and many a grace,
Let not cloudless skies deceive you;
Summer gives to autumn place.
Yearly in our course returning,
Messengers of shortest stay,
Thus we preach this truth concerning
Life which now must pass away.
On the tree of life eternal,
Oh, let all our hopes be laid;
This alone, for ever vernal,
Bears a leaf that will not fade.