When the glad spring time walked over the border,
And the brown honey bee crept from his cell;
When the sun and the west wind put nature in order,
And decked her in robes that became her so well,
Then did my torpid heart waken from slumber,
Then did I first spring to life and to light.
For what were the years passed without thee; they number
Only as one long, dark, flavorless night.
In the flush of the spring time, I saw thee, and seeing,
Loved with the love that had waited for thee.
A life that I never had known, sprang to being--
A life and a love that were heaven to me.
There never before was such warmth in the summer,
There never before were such hues in the fall,
Never such balm in the breath of that comer
Who shrouds the dead seasons, and rules over all.
Love, I have drank in the charm of thy presence,
The elixir that grants me perpetual life.
My blood leaps, and bounds! I am thrilled with the essence,
And soar over trials, and troubles, and strife.
We live, and we love! and what grief can alarm us;
Darling, my darling, the world is our own!
Life never can rob us--death cannot disarm us
Of this, our vast riches, our wealth, love, alone.
The summer is dead! did'st know it, my darling?
Did'st know that the winter walked over the earth?
The gold-breasted thrush, and the quaker-crowned starling
Make glad other lands, with their innocent mirth.
Ah no! for the summer of love in thy bosom,
Make summer and sunlight, for thee, everywhere.
I should not have known: but I missed the bright blossom
That all through the summer, I saw in thy hair.
Shells by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Milwaukee: Hauser & Storey, 1873.
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