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753



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WITH
THE SEASONS



BY



MARY AUGUSTA MASON

V



NEW YORK

A. D. F. RANDOLPH COMPANY
1897



COPYRIGHT, 1897, BY
A. D. F. RANDOLPH COMPANY



H.NKY MORSE STE1-HE*



Press of
Jenkins*
lew York



E. O.Jenkins' Son

Ne



TO
BESSIE VIRGINIA DICKINSON,

MY DEAR COMPANION LOVER OF THE WOOD AND

FIELD, THIS LITTLE BOOK IS

TENDERLY INSCRIBED



514870



U



One comes with violets in her hands,
And one with roses all a-blow,

With golden sheaves another stands.
The last brings as her gift the snow.



CONTENTS

PAGE

FLORENCE IN SPRINGTIME I

AM I READY 3

THE LAST SNOWFALL 5

HAD I WINGS 6

'TIS APRIL 7

IN SPRINGTIME 8

AN EMPTY NEST IO

WHEN FRESH BUDS ARE UPON THE BOUGHS ... II

A NEW EARTH 13

APRIL'S LADY 14

SINCE LAST I HEARD HIS SONG l6

MAY 17

DANDELION CURRENCY 19

A FLOWER WITH A SOUL 2O

LOVE CALL OF THE CHICKADEE 22

SING, MY LADY, SING 24

TO THE WINDS OF JUNE 26

HIGH-TIDE 27

THE HONEY-MOON 28

THE LOVE OF NATURE 30

LADY JUNE 31

THE SCARLET TANAGER 32

IN SUMMER 34

COBWEBS 35



CONTENTS



TO DEPARTED JUNE 37

RED CLOVER 40

REPOSE 43

O SWEET, SWEET WORLD 44

THE RAIN-DOVE 45

THE PASSING OF SUMMER 47

SEPTEMBER TWILIGHT 48

MOONLIGHT IN THE AUTUMN WOOD 49

WINGS AND FLIGHTS SO

IN OCTOBER 51

AN AUTUMN MORNING 53

AFTER THE BALL 55

A NOVEMBER EVENING 57

A BELATED BLOSSOM 58

A PURSUIT 59

THE SEASON OF SILENCE 60

A COMPARISON 6l

WINTER 62

IN THE MORNING 63

THE PATIENT SEASONS 65

ITALIAN WINTER 66

WITH THE SEASONS 68

IF LOVE WERE LIFE 70

AFTER THE PLAY 71

MOONRISE 72

LIFE 73

TO LOVE 74

SLUMBER SONG 76

MY MOTHER 78

THE SUSQUEHANNA 80



CONTENTS xi



I LOVE YOU 8l

IMMORTAL 82

IN THE HOME COUNTRY 84

STARS IN THE WELL 86

PROMISES 88

A LOVE SONG 89

THREE MINISTERING ANGELS 91

BEAUTY 93

THE COUNTRY OF FARAWAY 94

VENICE 95

ON THE HEIGHTS 97

INFLUENCE 98

OF LOVE; ' 99

MORNING 100

ONLY THE FEW IOI

MY LITTLE LADY IO2

BELLS RING NEVER TWICE THE SAME 103

THE MOTHER-POET 105

HUMAN NATURE 107

MY LITTLE NEIGHBOR IO8

ON THE MOUNTAIN . no



FLORENCE IN SPRINGTIME




HO would not Galileo be

In springtime, when the almond

tree

Is fluttering its pink snowflakes
down,

Inviting banishment from town ?

I'd gladly seize my globe and chart

And for those hills of Florence start,

Did any Inquisition see

That banishment were best for me !

The Medici, asleep below,

Would not be more at home, I know.

No " star tower " would confine me there ;

Out in the soft Italian air

I should discover at my feet

Small worlds that make the large one sweet ;

Through glowing fields I'd lead the bees

In search of fragrant Pleiades ;



FLORENCE IN SPRINGTIME



Each stone would testify anew
Of lambs the little Giotto drew ;
Each path would lead to some calm height
That keeps the Arno still in sight.
And if, forgetting it was day,
The nightingale should start his lay,
And mocking-bird sing east and west
To lead me further from his nest,
Among those hills where magic Spring
Experiments with leaf and wing,
Where dews from bluest skies fall free
On freshly opened worlds for me,
Who would not Galileo be !



AM I READY




AM I READY

|M I ready, am I ready for the Spring ?
Who have no buds to bloom, no

songs to sing,
No answer, should I hear a silvery

call,
But just a great warm loving for it all.

How fresh the picture in the hill-set frame ;
Untravelworn the songsters when they came ;
The south winds kind as though they had not

blown
With blasting fury from a frozen zone.



How quickly are the winters all forgot
At sight of one small, shy forget-me-not !
How many springs that bird on yonder tree
Can sing back to the hearts of you and me !



AM I READY



I wonder if the robin knows how sweet
That little tuft of violets at his feet,
Or if those winsome blossoms are aware
Of all that rapture borne upon the air.

Such alchemy in spring's prismatic rain,
That all the fields are young and glad again ;
Each flower its old-time pattern loves to use,
The bee no longer hunts, but has to choose.

Dear bluebird sky and song-enchanted air !
Dear minstrel brooks that wander everywhere !
Dear earth to keep such sweet things in your

heart
And never let a bud too early start !

Dear every sight and every sound I hear,
That makes the earth so glad a place each

year;

One's soul goes out in eager questioning,
O am I ready, ready for the Spring ?



THE LAST SNOWFALL



THE LAST SNOWFALL




HERE'S been a snowfall of forget-
me-nots,
For yonder hills are white this

morn T see ;

It drifted down last night mysteriously,
And melted everywhere save in these spots.
The fleecy clouds looked conscious of such

plots,
And when the south winds came along so

free

And shook the buds awake upon the tree,
And in a frolic whisked across the lots,
We straightway were prepared to see new

sights
And hear new sounds when morn broke on

our ken ;
For who can but accept when Spring invites ?

Ah, surely not the bluebird and the wren;
The air is filled with twitters and soft flights,
And, lo, the dew is on the grass again I



HAD I WINGS



HAD I WINGS

ERE it springtime and had I the

choosing

Of wings to go whither I would,
Not a moment of time I'd be los-




ing
In making my choice understood.

I love them all phoebe and bluebird,
Song-sparrow and robin red-breast ;

But there's one golden-belted wee fellow
I envy above all the rest.

He does little wooing in public,
He spends little time in the tree ;

But he finds the first bank of arbutus,
So I'll beg for the wings of the bee.



TIS APRIL




'TIS APRIL

HERE'S a thrush in the thicket, 'tis

April I know
There are signs of her presence

wherever I go ;
There's gold on the willows and blue in the

sky,

And pink where the snowdrifts of arbutus lie ;
There's red on the maples and color to spare
Each bud is awake and awaiting its share.
The butterflies know it is time for their wings,
Through the mists there are hints of invisible

things,
And on through the meadows and over the

hill

Sweet April is calling her followers still ;
Her footprints are violets, her breath is the

air,

And her speech is the singing of birds every-
where.



IN SPRINGTIME




IN SPRINGTIME

HE air is blue with the bluebird

wings,
And sweet with the bluebird

calls,

The trees are the bluebird palaces,
And the earth their vernal halls.



An incense hangs over shrub and tree,
And the blue eyes in the grass

Look up in violet surprise
To see the white clouds pass.



The golden disks of the dandelions

Send out their flower rays,
And the daffodils, with their dainty frills,

Spring up in the garden ways.



IN SPRINGTIME



The clannish innocence blooms white

Upon the peaceful hills ;
A butterfly has found its wings

And flutters where it wills.

And the brook that ceased last year to flow,

And never a word has said,
Once more starts out on its stony way,

By sweet remembrance led.

And something rare, with a red, red breast,

Is building a nest outside,
And I hear a song that I heard last year,

Ere the flowers drooped and died

A song that only a bird can sing,

A song of a robin, too,
A song of hope, a song of Spring,

A song he has kept for you.




10 AN EMPTY NEST



AN EMPTY NEST

HEN Spring comes to seek her own

Do they all rise at her words ?
Is the little fledgeling's tone

Sweet as was the parent bird's ?
When once more the streamlets roam
Do the robins all come home ?

Here's a nest upon a bough,

But there comes no bird to claim ;

Has she made a new nest now ?
If from some far land we came

We should all the home nest know,

Even were it filled with snow.

There are blue eyes that we miss

In the flush of violet time ;
In a world so sweet as this

Still are bells that do not chime ;
In the heart are many spots
Sacred to forget-me-nots.



WHEN FRESH BUDS ARE UPON THE BOUGHS II



WHEN FRESH BUDS ARE UPON
THE BOUGHS




F all the days I love most these,
When fresh buds are upon the

boughs,
When happy builders haunt the

trees
And earth is tuneful with their vows.



Deep in the woods my way I take
To see how some shy woodlings fare,

Though all the gladdening meadows make
Sweet overtures to keep me there.

Titania's fairy following

Finds shadow here but never gloom ;
The last brown leaf takes gladly wing

To give the new year's children room.



12 WHEN FRESH BUDS ARE UPON THE BOUGHS

Here lichen goblets lift for dew,
And ferns uncurl and petals ope,

And where a bit of sky peeps through
The blue hepatica takes hope.

The bugler thrush, at sunset's flood,
His silvery changes over rings,

And to this crown of greening wood
Is faithful as returning springs.

Here speech is bloom and speech is song ;

And when Diana's bow is bent
In evening skies, a merry throng

Holds fete within the leafy tent.

The stars and moon look through the trees
But learn no secrets of the wood

The birds and fairies hold the keys
And keep their tryst with Robin Hood.



A NEW EARTH 13




A NEW EARTH

OME mystic hand unlocks the icy

gates ;
Once more through happy fields

the blue veins run,
While with expectant hearts come one by

one

The robins to make ready for their mates ;
A momentary hush, as Spring awaits
A further signal from the watchful sun,
And from the old a new earth is begun.
A memory in each flower again creates
A likeness of itself. The same sweet thrill

Stirs in each bird-breast the desire to sing;
And heaven once more the cup of earth to fill

Bends lightly over with unwearied wing ;
In shining companies by rock and rill
Rise up the lovely followers of the Spring.



14 APRIL S LADY



APRIL'S LADY




N her blue eyes' misty depths

Saw I something more than she
Would allow, and cloudy lids
Shut the blue skies then from

me.



But a warm desire to look
Into longing eyes upturned,

Parts the clouds, and there I see

That for which my soul has yearned.

Forth with hesitating step
Comes this gentle lady fair,

All the world her lover is,

Yet to claim her none would dare.

Smiles she on them all alike,
Giveth each to her his best ;

Happy lady ! happy world !
Love returned with interest.



APRIL'S LADY



This is she, the Spring's first love,
With the tender flower face,

Coming out of troubled skies,
Coming to a troubled place,

With the violets in her eyes,
The arbutus on her breast ;

First of all thy lovely train,
April's lady, thou art best !



l6 SINCE LAST I HEARD HIS SONG



SINCE LAST I HEARD HIS SONG




HERE has he been since last I

heard his song,
The long and dreary winter

months between ?

A month of bird-life many years must mean,
So sweet each hour on light wings borne

along.

Now, standing forth from all the happy throng
That rise from earth and from the heavens

lean,

My red-breast of past years again is seen ;
And in and out between the rafters strong
Short flights of wing the busy builder takes,

Did some one learn to love him as I do,
In those long absences the winter makes ?
And does she keep for him her young heart

true

Until the Spring for her again awakes ?
Then lover of my bird, love I thee too !



MAY 17




MAY

HEAD full, a heart full, a soul full

of May !
Can one have too much of it?

Never, I say.

To think of its being around the whole sphere,
And still enough left for a sample next year.

One longs to have wings to keep up with the

train
That flushes the mountain and dapples the

plain ;
In primrose-laned England, where twilights

are long
And the nightingale holds his sweet sessions

of song ;

In Dante's land, too, by that old Southern sea
Where Spring first was conscious how fair she

could be ;



18 MAY

And on to Japan, where the spiced breezes

lift

The cherry- tree blooms in a frolicsome drift.
Anywhere, everywhere, out 'neath the blue,
We may in a vision see all things made new ;
Where'er fancy leads us the charm is the same,
And the East and the West might be called

by one name.



DANDELION CURRENCY 19



DANDELION CURRENCY




HAT care I for paper or silver,

When I can have plenty of gold,
And draw from each bank in the

springtime
More wealth than my coffers can hold !

All ye who have taste for the meadows,
Why stay in the turbulent towns ?

Here are riches and comfort in plenty
A mint overflowing with crowns !

They are current the selfish world over,
And none need be poor any more ;

I'm so rich that I leave the gold blossoms
To tarnish and fade at my door.

Earth is ready for all her partakers,
Each cell with its honey is filled ;

Here are the gold streets, and the mansions
Are waiting for some one to build.




20 A FLOWER WITH A SOUL



A FLOWER WITH A SOUL

VERY springtime forth I go

Searching for this spirit-flower ;
For who knows but it may grow,

After some inviting shower,
With the blossoms by the stream,
Just to see how earth would seem ?

No one yet has ever found

Such a flower, I am told ;
But if thus the frozen ground

Lives of violets can hold
And the frail anemones,
It might harbor one of these.

Will it blossom white or blue ?

Will it meek and modest grow ?
Or, with perfume that is new,

Like a stately lily blow ?
Will it bear some sacred name
Of the land from whence it came ?



A FLOWER WITH A SOUL 21

Loving quiet ways the best,

Answering some plaintive word,

It may grow beside the nest
Of a shy, brown mother-bird,

And the little birds below

Be the only ones to know.



22 LOVE CALL OF THE CHICKADEE



LOVE CALL OF THE CHICKADEE




F I had two wings and a song and

feather

I should certainly fly away
To him, when he calls in the soft

spring weather
His sweet " Come play !" " Come play !"

Just as soon as the brook goes rushing
Down the glen like a restless fay,

Out from his heart the song comes gushing
To all " This way !" " This way !"

He knows quite well when the buds are swell-
ing?

And when the robin has come to stay,
And all good news he is first in telling

With his " To-day !" " To-day !"



LOVE CALL OF THE CHICKADEE 23

He gave a hint of the glad times coming
While yet the snows on the hillside lay ;

Now birds go wooing and bees go humming,
He sings, " In May ! " " In May ! "



SING, MY LADY, SING



SING, MY LADY, SING




ING, my lady, sing !

Life is sweet in spring
Wooing' s in the very air,
Love for all and some to spare,

Sing, my lady, sing !



Sing, my lady, sing !

Love is on the wing ;

He will pause a moment here
In the first flush of the year,

Sing, my lady, sing !



Sing, my lady, sing !

Time will trouble bring ;

Love is young and constant now,
He will keep awhile his vow,

Sing, my lady, sing !



SING, MY LADY, SING 25

Sing, my lady, sing !
Youth is everything

Love and hope and joy and song ;

Sing, for youth will not stay long,
Sing, my lady, sing!



26 TO THE WINDS OF JUNE




TO THE WINDS OF JUNE

LOW gently, Winds of June ! Each

downy nest
Is full of unsung songs and un-

spread wings
That will respond to patient hoverings ;
Soft rockings suit the rustic cradles best.

Blow gently, Winds of June! The bud is

here
That soon will be transformed into the

rose,

The sweetest miracle that nature knows ;
A breath might mar the beauty of the year.

So easily the song drops out of tune,
So eagerly the sun absorbs the dews,
So quickly does the rose its petals lose,

That, for their sakes, blow gently, Winds of
June!



HIGH-TIDE




HIGH-TIDE

HE high-tide of the year has come

at last ;
From their mysterious deeps the

waves of white
And pink and green are breaking on our

sight ;

The airy cloud-ships slowly sailing past,
Light shadows on the shimmering orchards

cast;

With fragrant overtures the trees invite

Robin and oriole to stay their flight

Amid the leaves their homes to anchor fast.

Then comes the full, delicious rise and fall
Of night and morn ; and dreamy twilights
fill

The soul like sweet responses to a call ;

Where once were roses there are roses still ;

The earth must pattern after her old ways

As long as there are Junes and summer days.



28 THE HONEY-MOON




THE HONEY-MOON

HEN the clover's in its prime,
Then's the sweetest marriage-
time.

They the longest honey-moon
Have who marry now in June,
When the earth's been wooed and won,
And the summer's just begun ,-
When the daylight loves to stay,
And steals half the night away ;
And the moonbeams shine so deep
That there seems no time for sleep ;
When the air throbs with the gush
Of the silver-throated thrush,
And the soil has felt the thrill
And bursts into bloom at will,
Imitating every shade
That the skies have ever made ;
When the perfume, songs and light,
Earth's fulfillment of her plight,



THE HONEY-MOON 29

Steal into the human heart,
Making all the love-chords start
Into harmonies so sweet
That there seemeth no retreat
But to sing and blossom, too,
Just as birds and flowers do.




30 THE LOVE OF NATURE



THE LOVE OF NATURE

|OW generous Nature is to those

who show
A sympathy with her! How

every breeze
Seems a caress ! How all the shrubs and trees
Put on their tenderest green, and flowers

blow,

And even birds and insects seem to know
Your heart and strive, each in its way, to

please !

The birds build at your door, the honey-bees
Are sure of finding sweets where'er you go
Since every rose will blossom at its best

For those who have the rose's love within.
The heart that blesses others will be blest ;
The lives that look for blossoms, blossoms

win ;

The love of birds will build a song-bird's nest
Upon a bough where winter snows have
been.



LADY JUNE 31



LADY JUNE

ADY of the sky and sea,
Lady of the wood and lea
Lady June.




See her springing from the grass !

See her smiling from the sky !
Watch her back and forward pass

As the little winds go by !
Hear her singing in the wood!

Tis a lady not a thrush ;
Who else with such sweetness could

Crown a prickly rose's bush ?

It is Lady June, my dear ;
All the little birds we hear

Sing her praises, Lady June ;
Careful where each foot is set,
It can feel, the mignonette,

And take flight, the Lady June.



32 THE SCARLET TANAGER




THE SCARLET TANAGER

FLAME went flitting through the

wood ;

The neighboring birds all under-
stood

Here was a marvel of their kind ;
And silent was each feathered throat
To catch the brilliant stranger's note,
And folded every songster's wing
To hide its sober coloring.

Against the tender green outlined,
He bore himself with splendid ease,
As though alone among the trees.
The glory passed from bough to bough
The maple was in blossom now,
And then the oak, remembering
The crimson hint it gave in spring,
And every tree its branches swayed
And offered its inviting shade ;



THE SCARLET TANAGER 33

Where'er a bough detained him long,
A slender, silver thread of song
Was lightly, merrily unspun.
From early morn till day was done

The vision flitted to and fro.
At last the wood was all alone ;
But, ere the restless flame had flown,
He left a secret with each bough,
And in the Fall, where one is now,

A thousand tanagers will glow.



34 IN SUMMER




IN SUMMER

HAT can one do in summer when

the world

Has all her banners of delight un-
furled,

When pleasure beckons us a thousand ways,
Or folds her wings and close beside us stays ?
Afar and near is something rare and sweet ;
Upon the grass the print of Beauty's feet ;
At every turn a picture ; some glad notes
Sung first for us from newly conscious throats ;
A glory in the sunshine ; by the streams -
Soft cadences invite and blend with dreams ;
Out in the fields the honey-hunters go ;
Over the heights the merry breezes blow ;
Up in the sky some mystic signs are set
The earth has never failed to read them yet ;
And as the year rejoices in her prime,
The happiest thing to do in summertime
Is on some mossy bank content to lie
And watch the changes in the earth and sky.



COBWEBS 35




COBWEBS

WONDER if you

Can tell me who

Stole down last night through the

dark and dew,
And wove such queer
Little patterns here,
And fastened them firm to each grassy spear.

And here and there

On the fences bare,
These filmy laces are wrought with care ;

Strung with diamond dew

Every morning new,

They sparkle and gleam as the sun looks
through.

Is each silken net
For some fairy set,
Who stayed too late at the moonlight fete ?



36 COBWEBS



And caught within
For his elfin sin,
Must he weave each delicate web again ?

Could we see aright,

Every moonlight night
Are the fairy looms and hands in sight ;

When the East is rose,

Every fairy knows
That his task is done and he homeward goes.



TO DEPARTED JUNE 37



TO DEPARTED JUNE




OT hours enough in all those pleas-
ant days
To give expression to the joy you

felt;

Like some rare spirit in our world you dwelt,
Then like a spirit sought some happier ways.

A few fair roses, lying on your breast,

Still bloom in sweet remembrance of that

time
When roses and the year were in their prime;

And still the sun sinks late into the West.

The summer lilies, too, are now in bloom,
But they are pale and bowed with secret woe
For some glad time they came too late to
know ;

Thus even in the sunshine there is gloom.



38 TO DEPARTED JUNE

The birds have flown their nests, they quickly

learn

To soar, and yet I doubt if flying brings
The peace they felt beneath their mother's

wings ;

You would not know your own should you
return.



The hills fade in a quiet mist away,
Who knows but you, dear June, still linger

there
In answer to some faithful lover's prayer,

And seem through pity half inclined to stay.

The moon has made her weary round once

more,
And sends weird shadows through the woods

to learn

If you are hiding there, but leaf and fern
Breathe only of a blessing gone before.

The river takes a slower, calmer pace,

The brook has lost its happy, buoyant bound,



TO DEPARTED JUNE 39

Less sweetness seems to thrill through every

sound,
And some rare light is missed from every place.

Without are all things changed, within the soul
Are changes, too, that have been wrought by

June;
We've listened to a strain of perfect tune,

And now our spirits long to hear the whole !



40 RED CLOVER




RED CLOVER

OU are the pride of the meadow, red

" clover!
Where you are blooming there

surely old Rover
Knows the slow kine always wait to be

driven;
This morning they meekly passed out

through the gate,
This evening both they and old Rover are

late-
Red clover, just see all the trouble you've
given !

Was it some friend you were harboring under
Your clustering leaves, that just trebled its

wonder

To see you fold up your green leaves with-
out warning,



RED CLOVER 4!

And bow your sweet blossom-face down

out of sight,
Lest the dew catch the red from your

cheeks in the night,
And the sun be displeased when he comes

in the morning ?



The honey bees say you are close with your

honey ;
They can't get a drop, and what seems very

funny
The bumblebee, with his long nose, can get

plenty ;
So he bumbles around, like a great clumsy

elf,

All the red clover honey he has to himself,
Just now, buzzing by with his load of sweets
went he.



But here come the cows and old Rover ! be-
hind him

The boy who was sent to the pasture to find
him.



42 RED CLOVER



Good-night to the pasture, and to you, red

clover;

'Tis time for us all to be wandering home,
The time of the twilight and starlight has

come,
And the time for the bees to get honey is over.




REPOSE 43



REPOSE

HE clouds have thrown long golden

anchors out
To reach the fastnesses among the

hills

That purple rise and hem the blue sea in ;
Upon its azure tablets has the sun
Writ his last message. Birds forget their

quest,
And hearts their trouble ; flowers cease to

fade ;

Fear has been lost and the keen sense of hope
Been dulled a little through what promises
To be the eve of a fulfillment sweet ;
Sleep draws the curtains of that other land,
Then works a charm to blind the vision there ;
While, like a ghost of the departed sun,
The moon steals spirit-like upon the world,
And just as silently the azure sea
To silver turns, and the tired earth forgets
It ever was, or it must be again.



44 O SWEET, SWEET WORLD



O SWEET, SWEET WORLD




sweet, sweet world, were I a bee,
And such delights were offered me,
From morn till eve I'd spread my

wings

And hover o'er the fragrant things,


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Online LibraryMary Augusta MasonWith the seasons → online text (page 1 of 3)