All in the time when Earth did most deplore
The cold, ungracious aspect of young May,
Sweet Summer came, and bade him smile once more;
She wove bright garlands, and in winsome play
She bound him willing captive. Day by day
She found new wiles wherewith his heart to please;
Or bright the sun, or if the skies were gray,
They laughed together, under spreading trees,
By running brooks, or on the sandy shores of seas.
They were but comrades. To that radiant maid
No serious word he spake; no lovers’ plea.
Like careless children, glad and unafraid,
They sported in their opulence of glee.
Her shining tresses floated wild and free;
In simple lines her emerald garments hung;
She was both good to hear, and fair to see;
And when she laughed, then Earth laughed too, and flung
His cares behind him, and grew radiant and young.
One golden day, as he reclined beneath
The arching azure of enchanting skies,
Fair Summer came, engirdled with a wreath
Of gorgeous leaves all scintillant with dyes.
Effulgent was she; yet within her eyes,
There hung a quivering mist of tears unshed.
Her crimson-mantled bosom shook with sighs;
Above him bent the glory of her head;
And on his mouth she pressed a splendid kiss, and fled.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1850-1919)
from Poems of Experience, 1910
[Poem is in the public domain in Canada, the United States, and the European Union]
Ella Wheeler Wilcox biography