[To H. A. M.]

What sounds so sweet as the glad words of greeting?
   And what starts the tears,
Like the warm kiss, that is given at meeting
   After long years.

Friend of my heart, we are once more together;
   Hand clasped in hand.
We sit and we walk in the beautiful weather
   That gladdens the land.

Oh, rare golden days, in the heart of September;
   Days more than sweet--
Days that my heart will forever remember,
   Ye are too fleet!

Why haste away! the greedy "Past's" measure
   Already run's o'er;
But like a miser who hoards up rare treasure,
   He cries out for "more."

Oh bright Autumn days! If you only would linger
   And loiter, and stay!
Too soon old time shall be pointing his finger
   And bidding me say

That word "Good-bye," that's so hard to be spoken.
   Hearts have been stirred
Almost to breaking; and fond hearts have broken
   At that last word.

Away with these sad thoughts! this rare golden weather
   Shall not find me sad,
Because we cannot always wander together,
   But I will be glad

Of the days that are left. No foreboding of sorrow
   Shall darken my sky.
Nor To-day be o'erclouded, because some To-morrow.
   I must say good-bye.


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

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