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The lips that were so rosy red,
At morning and at even-tide!
Delightful Summer! then adieu
Till thou shalt visit us anew :
But who without regretful sigh
Can say, adieu, and see thee fly?
Not he that e'er hath felt thy pow'r,
His joy expanding like a flow'r
That cometh after rain and snow,
Looks up at heaven, and learns to glow :
Not he that fled from Babel-strife
To the green sabbath-land of life,
To dodge dull Care 'mid cluster'd trees,
And cool his forehead in the breeze, -
Whose spirit, weary-worn perchance,
Shook from its wings a weight of grief,
And perch'd upon an aspen leaf,
For every breath to make it dance.
Farewell ! on wings of sombre stain, That blacken in the last blue skies, Thou fly’st; but thou wilt come again On the gay wings of butterflies.
Spring at thy approach will sprout
Her new Corinthian beauties out,
Leaf-woven homes, where twitter-words
Will grow to songs,
Ambitious buds shall swell to flowers,
And April smiles to sunny hours.
Bright days shall be, and gentle nights
Full of soft breath and echo-lights,
As if the god of sun-time kept
His eyes half-open while he slept.
Roses shall be where roses were,
Not shadows, but reality ;
As if they never perish'd there,
But slept in immortality :
Nature shall thrill with new delight,
And Time's relumin'd river run
Warm as young blood, and dazzling bright,
As if its source were in the sun !
But say, hath Winter then no charms ? Is there no joy, no gladness warms His aged heart? no happy wiles To cheat the hoary one to smiles ?
Pours his furious whirlwind forth
Before him and we breathe the breath
Of famish'd bears that howl to death.
Onward he comes from rocks that blanch
O’er solid streams that never flow,
His tears all ice, his locks all snow,
Just crept from some huge avalanche —
A thing half-breathing and half-warm,
As if one spark began to glow
Within some statue's marble form,
Or pilgrim stiffen'd in the storm.
O! will not Mirth's light arrows fail
To pierce that frozen coat of mail ?
0! will not Joy but strive in vain
To light up those glaz’d eyes again?
No! take him in, and blaze the oak, And pour
the wine, and warm the ale ; His sides shall shake to many a joke, His tongue shall thaw in many a tale, His eyes grow bright, his heart be gay, And even his palsy charm'd away.
What heeds he then the boisterous shout
Of angry winds that scold without,
Like shrewish wives at tavern door ?
What heeds he then the wild uproar
Of billows bursting on the shore ?
In dashing waves, in howling breeze,
There is a music that can charm him ;
When safe, and shelter'd, and at ease,
He hears the storm that cannot harm him.
But hark! those shouts ! that sudden din
Of little hearts that laugh within.
O! take him where the youngsters play,
And he will grow as young as they!
They come! they come! each blue-ey'd Sport,
The Twelfth Night King and all his court -
'Tis Mirth fresh crown'd with misletoe !
Music with her merry fiddles,
Joy “on light fantastic toe,”
Wit with all his jests and riddles,
Singing and dancing as they go.
And Love, young Love, among the rest,
A welcome nor unbidden guest.
But still for Summer dost thou grieve?
Then read our Poets - they shall weave
A garden of green fancies still,
Where thy wish may rove at will.
They have kept for after treats
The essences of summer sweets,
And echoes of its songs that wind
In endless music through the mind :
They have stamp'd in visible traces
The “ thoughts that breathe,” in words that shine -
The flights of soul in sunny places —
To greet and company with thine.
These shall wing thee on to flow'rs -
The past or future, that shall seem
All the brighter in thy dream
For blowing in such desert hours.
The summer never shines so bright
As thought of in a winter's night;
And the sweetest loveliest rose
Is in the bud before it blows.
The dear one of the lover's heart
Is painted to his longing eyes,
In charms she ne'er can realize
But when she turns again to part.