Throughout these mellow autumn days,
All sweet and dim, and soft with haze,
I argue with my unwise heart,
That fain would choose the idler's part.

My heart says, "Let us lie and dream
Under the sunshine's softened beam.
This is the dream-time of the year,
When Heaven itself seems bending near.

See how the calm still waters lie
And dream beneath the arching sky.
The sun draws on a veil of haze,
And dreams away these golden days.

Put by the pen---lay thought aside,
And cease to battle with the tide,
Let us, like Nature, rest and dream
And float with th' current of the stream."

So pleads my heart. I answer "Nay,
Work waits for you and me to-day.
Behind these autumn hours of gold,
The winter lingers, bleak and cold.

And those who dream too long or much,
Must waken, shivering, at his touch,
With naught to show for vanished hours,
But dust of dreams and withered flowers.

So now, while days are soft and warm,
We must make ready for the storm."
Thus, through the golden, hazy weather,
My heart and I converse together.

And yet, I dare not turn my eyes
To pebbly shores or tender skies,
Because I am so fain to do
E'en as my heart pleads with me to.

October, 1872

Shells by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Milwaukee: Hauser & Storey, 1873.

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