Ella Wheeler Wilcox

(5 November 1850 - 30 October 1919 / Johnstown Center / Rock County / Wisconsin)

Lay It Away


We will lay our summer away, my friend,
So tenderly lay it away.
It was bright and sweet to the very end,
Like one long, golden day.
Nothing sweeter could come to me,
Nothing sweeter to you.
We will lay it away, and let it be,
Hid from the whole world’s view.

We will lay it away like a dear, dead thing –
Dead, yet for ever fair;
And the fresh green robes of a deathless spring,
Though dead, it shall alaways wear.
We will not hide it in grave or tomb,
But lay it away to sleep,
Guarded by beauty, and light, and bloom,
Wrapped in a slumber deep.

We were willing to let the summer go –
Willing to go our own ways;
But never on earth again I know
Will either find such days.
You are my friend, and it may seem strange,
But I would not see you again;
I would think of you, though all things change,
Just as I knew you then.

If we should go back to the olden place,
And the summer time went too,
It would be like looking a ghost in the face,
So much would be changed and new.
We cannot live it over again,
Not even a single day;
And as something sweet, and free from pain,
We had better let it away.

Submitted: Monday, May 19, 2003

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