Backward, turn backward, O time, in your flight;
Make me a child again, just for tonight!
Mother, come back from that echoless shore;
Oh, dainty daughters of the dawn, most delicate of flowers,
How fitly do ye come to deck day's most delicious hours!
Evoked by morning's earliest breath, your fragile cups unfold
Before the light has cleft the sky, or edged the world with gold.
At last, when all the summer shine
That warmed life's early hours is past,
Your loving fingers seek for mine
THIS realm is sacred to the silent past;
Within its drowsy shades are treasures rare
Of dust and dreams; the years are long since last
The last lone aster in the wood has died,
And taken wings, and flown;
The sighing oaks, the evergreens' dark pride,
And shivering beeches, keep their leaves alone.
Two little feet, so small that both may nestle
In one caressing hand, -
Two tender feet upon the untried border
Of life's mysterious land.
My heart is chilled and my pulse is slow,
But often and often will memory go,
Like a blind child lost in a waste of snow,
Make me no vows of constancy, dear friend,
To love me, though I die, thy whole life long,
And love no other till thy days shall end -
Strange Truth and Beauty are enemies,
Treading forever on each other's toes!
Strange rhymes are always made of that which is
It was the autumn of the year;
The strawberry-leaves were red and sere;
October's airs were fresh and chill,
When, pausing on the windy hill,