My heart to-day is like a southern wood,
Through summer months it has been drunk with heat;
And slumbered on unmindful of the beat
Of life beyond it: sleep alone seemed good.
Now milder Autumn's tints are in the sky;
The fervid heats of summer noons depart;
And backward to the old haunts in my heart
The golden robins and the blue birds fly.
I hear the flutter of their airy wings,
They flock about the Spring's deserted nest,
And suddenly I feel within my breast
The stirring of sweet half-forgotten things.
Bright sunny mornings--golden growing hours--
The building of glad birds among the trees;
Wide open windows and the kindly breeze
Bringing the perfume of half-open flowers.
A blithe face at the window fair with truth;
A mellow laugh that falls like silver spray;
Down through the sunlight of the perfect day,
Ecstatic hopes, that bud with Spring and Youth.
The morning time grew rank with summer blight;
The birds flew northward, fresher fields to find;
And in our hearts we closed the folding blind,
While drooping blossoms withered in the light.
The fair face at the window could not stay;
The laugh grew weary, with a minor strain
That borders on the foreign realm of pain,
And hopes that blossomed, ripened to decay.
Come, happy birds, and sing of vanished joy,
Of that sweet Spring for ever passed away;
No winter lies between us and that day.
(But what is sadder than the sweets that cloy.)
My heart is green with leafage; come and wake
The old-time echoes with the songs of glee,
For only echoes now are left to me,
Though bloom and beauty cling to bush and brake.
Yesterdays. By Ella Wheeler Wilcox.
London: Gay & Hancock, 1916.
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