Linger, linger, oh royal year!
For I grieve to see you dying.
Rest on the hilltops---loiter near;
Wait, O Time, in your flying.
For never, in all the twice ten years,
You have brought to build my twenty,
Never was one so free from tears--
So overflowing with plenty.
Filled to the brim with the purest draughts,
That I sip in fearless pleasure;
While an unseen spirit watches and laughs,
And again refills the measure.
My brightest dreams, and my fondest hopes,
The year has gathered together,
And right bountifully they have come to me,
From the Spring to the Autumn weather.
The rarest of flowers, subtle and sweet,
That grew in the world Ideal,
Have dropped their seeds in the soil at my feet,
And blossomed among the Real.
And Love, like a rose, still blossoms and blows,
Passion-hearted, yet tender.
And my path is strewn with the glories of June,
And I'm hedged about with its splendor.
Care flew over the hills, one day,
And I sang, as he swift retreated;
And Hope took his crown, and Joy settled down,
On the throne where Care had been seated.
Contentment hedged me all round about,
And Love built his blazing fire;
And Happiness poured his treasures out,
And left me with no desire.
I have walked breast high in a sea of bliss:
I have loved my God, and my brother.
There never before was a year like this--
There never can be another.
Linger, loiter, a little while,
For I grieve to see you dying!
But even in grief, I can only smile,
For my heart is too light for sighing.
Shells by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Milwaukee: Hauser & Storey, 1873.
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