What have I brought from the spring-time, vanished so long ago ?1
Only these faded violets—beautiful once, you know.2
I looked on them then in the light, and the glory of youth’s bright years,3
But they never seemed half so lovely, as now, through a mist of tears.4
How can they ever fade for me ?5
The hopes of my youth in their leaves I see !6
What have I saved from the summer, with its cloudless sunny skies ?7
Only this withered rose-bud—faded and dead it lies.8
But soft were its velvet petals, and rich with a crimson glow,9
When some one gathered and gave it—ah me ! so long ago.10
So long ago that only my rose11
Remains of a past that no one knows.12
Out of the wealth of autumn, what did I find and keep ?13
Grain from its golden harvests ? —nay, a pearl from the mighty deep.14
In its depths I was almost sinking—in its storms I was almost lost,15
But I never had found this jewel, had I not been tempest tossed.16
It was worth it all—the wreck and the pain,17
To have won my pearl from the troubled main.18
What shall I save from the winter, when its snows which close o’erhead,19
Have melted in blessed spring-time, whose leaves shall ne’er be shed ?20
Ah, then ! my violets will bloom again, and the red come back to the rose,21
While my pearl will shine with the lustre, from the throne of God that flows.22
The winter will pass, and the driving rain,23
And sunshine come to my soul again.24