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.
from Music and Moonlight, 1874
[Poem is in the public domain worldwide]