Winds of the summer time what are you saying,
What are ye seeking, and what do you miss?
Locks like the thistledown floating and straying,
Cheeks like the budding rose, tinted to kiss.
See ye yon mist rising up from the river?
That is the spirit of yesterday's rain.
Go to it, fly to it, call to it, cry to it,
What did ye see when ye fell on the plain?
Rosewood, and velvet, and pansies, and roses,
Blossoms from loving hands tenderly cast.
Lids like the leaves of a lily that closes
After its brief little day-life is past.
Beautiful hands on a beautiful bosom,
Folded so quietly, folded in rest.
Mouth like the bud of a white-petalled blossom,
Creased where the lips of an angel had pressed.
Lower, and lower, and lower, and lower,
Dust unto dust--but a mound on the plain.
Left alone, lonely, this, and this only,
Saw we, and see we to-day, said the rain.
Winds of the summer time vain is your seeking,
Vain is your calling with sobs in your breath.
Lips that are tender, eyes full of splendour,
Wooed away, sued away, vanished with death.
Yesterdays. By Ella Wheeler Wilcox.
London: Gay & Hancock, 1916.
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