Each following each they hasten them away,
And leave us to our winter and our rue,
Sad and uncomforted; you, only you,
Dear, hardy lover, keep your faith and stay
Long as you may.
And so we choose you out from all the rest,
For that most noble word of “Loyalty,”
Which blazoned on your petals seems to be;
Winter is near,—stay with us; be our guest,
The last and best.
TILL THE DAY DAWN.
Why should I weary you, dear heart, with words,
Words all discordant with a foolish pain?
Thoughts cannot interrupt or prayers do wrong,
And soft and silent as the summer rain
Mine fall upon your pathway all day long.
Giving as God gives, counting not the cost
Of broken box or spilled and fragrant oil,
I know that, spite of your strong carelessness,
Rest must be sweeter, worthier must be toil,
Touched with such mute, invisible caress.
One of these days, our weary ways quite trod,
Made free at last and unafraid of men,
I shall draw near and reach to you my hand.
And you? Ah! well, we shall be spirits then,
I think you will be glad and understand.
Who is this who gently slips
Through my door, and stands and sighs,
Hovering in a soft eclipse,
With a finger on her lips
And a meaning in her eyes?
Once she came to visit me
In white robes with festal airs,
Glad surprises, songs of glee;
Now in silence cometh she,
And a sombre garb she wears.
Once I waited and was tired,
Chid her visits as too few;
Crownless now and undesired,
She to seek me is inspired
Oftener than she used to do.
Grave her coming is and still,
Sober her appealing mien,
Tender thoughts her glances fill;
But I shudder, as one will
When an open grave is seen.
Wherefore, friend,—for friend thou
Should I wrong thee thus and grieve?
Wherefore push thee from my heart?
Of my morning thou wert part;
Be a part too of my eve.
See, I hold my hand to meet
That cool, shadowy hand of thine;
Hold it firmly, it is sweet
Thus to clasp and thus to greet,
Though no more in full sunshine.
Come and freely seek my door,
I will open willingly;
I will chide the past no more,
Looking to the things before,
Led by pathways known to thee.
BY THE CRADLE.
The baby Summer lies asleep and dreaming—
Dreaming and blooming like a guarded rose;
And March, a kindly nurse, though rude of seeming,
Is watching by the cradle hung with snows.
Her blowing winds but keep the rockers swinging,
And deepen slumber in the shut blue eyes,
And the shrill cadences of her high singing
Are to the babe but wonted lullabies.