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George Arnold

(1834-1865 / the United States)

Farewell To Summer


SUMMER is fading; the broad leaves that grew
So freshly green, when June was young, are falling;
And, all the whisper-haunted forest through,
The restless birds in saddened tones are calling,
From rustling hazel copse and tangled dell,
“Farewell, sweet Summer,
Fragrant, fruity Summer,
Sweet, farewell!”

Upon the windy hills, in many a field,
The honey-bees hum slow, above the clover,
Gleaning the latest sweets its blooms may yield,
And, knowing that their harvest-time is over,
Sing, half a lullaby and half a knell,
“Farewell, sweet Summer,
Honey-laden Summer,
Sweet, farewell!”

The little brook that babbles mid the ferns,
O’er twisted roots and sandy shallows playing,
Seems fain to linger in its eddied turns,
And with a plaintive, purling voice is saying
(Sadder and sweeter than my song can tell),
“Farewell, sweet Summer,
Warm and dreamy Summer,
Sweet, farewell!”

The fitful breeze sweeps down the winding lane
With gold and crimson leaves before it flying;
Its gusty laughter has no sound of pain,
But in the lulls it sinks to gentle sighing,
And mourns the Summer’s early broken spell,—
“Farewell, sweet Summer,
Rosy, blooming Summer,
Sweet, farewell!”

So bird and bee and brook and breeze make moan,
With melancholy song their loss complaining.
I too must join them, as I walk alone
Among the sights and sounds of Summer’s waning.…
I too have loved the season passing well.…
So, farewell, Summer,
Fair but faded Summer,
Sweet, farewell!

Submitted: Friday, September 17, 2010

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