A Missed Summer.

White rose-leaves star the grassy way1
She takes among the flowers to-day,2
Her morning task is done :3
From sapphire skies, through latticed screen4
Of bending branches, summer-green,5
Looks down the August sun.6
Along the flower-fenced alley floats7
A melody of blackbird notes,8
A carol from the thrush ;9
Then golden silence touches all,10
No sound except the waterfall11
Disturbs the noontide hush.12
She plucks a rose with weary grace ;13
She drops the rose ; across her face14
A tender shadow falls.15
What is a full-blown rose to her,16
For whom no summer pulses stir,17
No summer song-bird calls ?18
No summer—— there the story lies,19
Told dumbly by those asking eyes,20
Soft, with a touch of flame21
She had her happy, childish hours,22
Her radiant spring-time, sun and showers ;23
But summer never came.24
She waited where the seasons meet,25
She said farewell to childhood sweet,26
Her spring’s young blossoms died ;27
But when she looked for summer glow,28
With rose-red garlands all a-blow,29
Poor heart ! she was denied.30
She waited as the years went by,31
She bore her burden patiently,32
And walked her way apart ;33
She saw her playmates, one by one,34
Pull joy’s bright blossoms in the sun,35
With sweet, ungrudging heart.36
She missed her summer. Yea ; but so,37
Methinks, she missed the share of woe38
That blends with summer bliss.39
She missed love’s sunshine—and its ache,40
The thousand gnawing cares that take41
The honey from a kiss.42
She missed love’s roses—and its thorn ;43
The thunder-clouds of passion born44
Touched not her quiet life :45
Her eyes are sad with loneliness,46
But tell no tale of wild distress,47
No story of strong strife.48
She missed her summer, but hath found49
Contentment in her daily round50
Of duty done, apart :51
It waiteth for her otherwhere,52
In some far haven, calm and fair,53
The summer of the heart !54