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      Eliza Lee Follen (1787-1860)

      On the Death of a Beautiful Girl.

    THE young, the lovely pass away,
        Ne'er to be seen again;
    Earth's fairest flowers too soon decay;
        Its blasted trees remain.

    Full oft we see the brightest thing
        That lifts its head on high,
    Smile in the light, then droop its wing,
        And fade away, and die.

    And kindly is the lesson given,
        Then dry the falling tear;
    They came to raise our hearts to heaven,
        They go to call us there.


An outspoken abolitionist, Follen is also known for her collection Little Songs, for Little Boys and Girls. It was the first publication to contain the poem The Three Little Kittens (although she described it there as "traditional"). The above poem appeared in her 1839 Poems. It also appeared in the McGuffey's Fifth Eclectic Reader under the title Death of the Beautiful. It can be found for example in:
  • May, Caroline, ed. The American Female Poets: with Biographical and Critical Notices. Philadelphia: Lindsay & Blakiston, 1865.