Ella Wheeler Wilcox

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

Perished


I called to the summer sun,
“Come over the hills to-day!
Unlock the rivers, and tell them to run,
And kiss the snow-drifts and melt them away.”
And the sun came over – a tardy lover –
And unlocked the river, and told it to glide,
And kissed the snow-drift till it fainted and died.

I called to the robin, “Come back!
Come up from the south and sing! ”
And robin sailed up on an airy track,
And smoothed down his feathers and oiled his wing.
And the notes came gushing, gurgling, rushing,
In trills and quavers, clear, mellow, and strong,
Till the glad air quivered and rang with song.

I said to the orchard, “Blow! ”
I said to the meadow, “Bloom! ”
And the trees stood white, like brides in a row,
And the breeze was laden with rare perfume.
And over the meadows, in lights and shadows,
The daisies white and violets blue,
And yellow-haired buttercups blossomed and grew.

I called to a hope, that died
With the death of the flowers and grass,
“Come back! For the river is free to glide –
The robin sings, and the daisies bloom.” Alas!
For the hope I cherished too rudely perished
To ever awaken and live again,
Though a hundred summers creep over the plain.

Submitted: Monday, May 19, 2003

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