How fragrant is the summer dusk1
With breath of mignonette and musk,2
How dear this hour of rest,3
When waning twilight fills with gloom4
The shadowy corners of the room5
Outlooking to the west.6
The blue-eyed prattlers who have played7
All day in sunshine and in shade8
Among the garden bowers,9
Have said good- night—I look around10
For scattered toys, and on the ground11
I see their faded flowers.12
Poor blossoms, plucked with childish haste,13
Your summer sweetness ran to waste14
In heat of childish play ;15
A half-blown rose of crimson hue,16
Forget-me-nots of heavenly blue,17
A tuft of rosy may :18
A branch of sweetbriar—— Ah, my heart !19
The tender tears unbidden start20
To weary, world-worn eyes ;21
I kiss the faded, fragrant spray,22
And memories of a bygone day23
Before my vision rise.24
How often my lost darling wore25
The sweetbriar green ! She loved it more26
Than many-tinted bloom ;27
It often graced her maiden breast,28
Now, planted where she lies at rest,29
It beautifies her tomb.30
My little love in days of old !31
Youth’s morning-hour of rose and gold32
Comes back to me to-night ;33
I see her in her girlish grace,34
The sunny sweetness of her face,35
Her childish robe of white.36
I smell the sweetbriar in her hand,37
I see the garden where we stand38
On England’s southern shore,39
I hear the rippling streamlet fall,40
I hear her laughter musical,41
Now silenced evermore.42
She was too frail for earth’s employ,43
Too calm and pure for human joy,44
But like the sweetbriar green, 45
The memory of her gentle life46
Makes sweet the years of worldly strife47
That lie our lives between.48
Thy life and mine, my little love,49
My life below, thy life above,50
God’s love shall re-unite :51
I kiss the children’s faded spray.52
My sweetbriar graceth, far away,53
The land of pure delight !54