James Whitcomb Riley

7 October 1849 - 22 July 1916 / Greenfield, Indiana

A Wraith Of Summertime

In its color, shade and shine,
'T was a summer warm as wine,
With an effervescent flavoring of flowered bough and vine,
And a fragrance and a taste
Of ripe roses gone to waste,
And a dreamy sense of sun- and moon- and star-light interlaced.

'Twas a summer such as broods
O'er enchanted solitudes,
Where the hand of Fancy leads us through voluptuary moods,
And with lavish love out-pours
All the wealth of out-of-doors,
And woos our feet o'er velvet paths and honeysuckle floors.

'Twas a summertime long dead,--
And its roses, white and red,
And its reeds and water-lilies down along the river-bed,--
O they all are ghostly things--
For the ripple never sings,
And the rocking lily never even rustles as it rings!
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