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LADY, wouldst thou heiress be

To Winter's cold and cruel part?

When he sets the rivers free,

Thou dost still lock up thy heart; Thou that shouldst outlast the snow, But in the whiteness of thy brow?


Scorn and cold neglect are made

For winter gloom and winter wind, But thou wilt wrong the summer air,

Breathing it to words unkind, Breath which only should belong To love, to sunlight, and to song !


When the little buds unclose,

Red, and white, and pied, and blue,
And that virgin flow'r, the rose,

Opes her heart to hold the dew,
Wilt thou lock thy bosom up
With no jewel in its cup?


Let not cold December sit

Thus in Love's peculiar throne ;
Brooklets are not prison'd now,

But crystal frosts are all agone,
And that which hangs upon the spray,
It is no snow, but flow'r of May!

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The Autumn skies are flush'd with gold, And fair and bright the rivers run; These are but streams of winter cold, And painted mists that quench the sun.


In secret boughs no sweet birds sing, In secret boughs no bird can shroud ; These are but leaves that take to wing, And wintry winds that pipe so loud.


"Tis not trees' shade, but cloudy glooms
That on the cheerless vallies fall,
The flowers are in their grassy tombs,
And tears of dew are on them all.


She stood breast high amid the corn, Clasp'd by the golden light of morn, Like the sweetheart of the sun,

Who many a glowing kiss had won.

On her cheek an autumn flush,
Deeply ripened ; - such a blush
In the midst of brown was born,
Like red poppies grown with corn.

Round her eyes her tresses fell,
Which were blackest none could tell,
But long lashes veil'd a light,
That had else been all too bright.

And her hat, with shady brim,
Made her tressy forehead dim ;
Thus she stood amid the stooks,
Praising God with sweetest looks :

Sure, I said, heav'n did not mean,
Where I reap thou should'st but glean,
Lay thy sheaf adown and come,
Share my harvest and my home.

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