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Flame and Shadow
Old Tunes

by Sara Teasdale

As the waves of perfume, heliotrope, rose,
Float in the garden when no wind blows,
Come to us, go from us, whence no one knows;
So the old tunes float in my mind,
And go from me leaving no trace behind,
Like fragrance borne on the hush of the wind.
But in the instant the airs remain
I know the laughter and the pain
Of times that will not come again.
I try to catch at many a tune
Like petals of light fallen from the moon,
Broken and bright on a dark lagoon.
But they float away--for who can hold
Youth, or perfume or the moon's gold?
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