Sunday, August 5, 2012

Song: Has summer come without the rose? /
Arthur O'Shaughnessy


Has summer come without the rose,
    Or left the bird behind?
Is the blue changed above thee,
    O world! or am I blind?
Will you change every flower that grows,    
    Or only change this spot,
Where she who said, I love thee,
    Now says, I love thee not?

The skies seem’d true above thee,
    The rose true on the tree;    
The bird seem’d true the summer through,
    But all prov’d false to me.
World, is there one good thing in you,
    Life, love, or death—or what?
Since lips that sang, I love thee,    
    Have said, I love thee not?

I think the sun’s kiss will scarce fall
    Into one flower’s gold cup;
I think the bird will miss me,
    And give the summer up.    
O sweet place, desolate in tall
    Wild grass, have you forgot
How her lips lov’d to kiss me,
    Now that they kiss me not?

Be false or fair above me;      
    Come back with any face,
Summer!—do I care what you do?
    You cannot change one place,—
The grass, the leaves, the earth, the dew,
    The grave I make the spot,—      
Here, where she used to love me,
    Here, where she loves me not.

Arthur O'Shaughnessy
from Music and Moonlight, 1874

[Poem is in the public domain worldwide]

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