To my Sister, with a Volume of Tennyson’s Songs.

I said, “ What gift for one from foreign climes1
May help to bring again those skies of blue ?2
What, in our wailing English autumn, chimes3
With joyous colour, warmth of sound and hue ?4
The wind that whirls the leaf and drives the cloud,5
Till evening wraps the meadows in a shroud,6
How can this ’mind us of the mirror’d rest7
Of Venice, fairest city of the West ?8
You have brought sunlight from those lands of gold9
Still lingering in your smile ; I can but bring10
The songs of one who yet found voice to sing11
’Neath skies so grey as ours, nor grew heart-cold12
With stormy winter’s stress :— O hold it true,13
Our hearts make summer, dearest one, for you.”14