Drop down the crimson curtains,
And shut out the dazzling snow,
The cold white mantle that covers
The hills, where the grasses should grow;
And stir up the fire till it burneth,
With a heat like the midsummer sun.
And hang up the cage by the window,
And bring in the plants, one by one,
Till they perfume the air with a fragrance
As rare as the summer can bring.
And call to the bird, till he trilleth
The sweetest of notes he can sing.
And let me lie here, while you fan me,
Till the lazy air stirs, like a breeze,
That comes o'er the hills in the summer,
And rustles the tops of the trees.
Then sing me a song of the summer,
A song full of warmth and sunlight,
And I will forget that the winter
Stalks over the earth in his might.
I will dream that I lie in the clover,
And your voice is the voice of the breeze,
And the bird in the cage is the robin,
That sends down his song from the trees.
Shells by Ella Wheeler
Milwaukee: Hauser & Storey, 1873.
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