IN wood-hollows mate the swallows,
On the house-tops sparrows marry;
Where's the laggard that would tarry
When the Spring is up and doing,
And the doves of Love are cooing?
O the lovers she discovers
Heart and heart together linking!
'Tis of them, perchance, you're thinking;
In this moment's rich completeness
Tasting over bygone sweetness.
Nay, you gladden not, but sadden
At the sight of such surrender
To Love's impulse, warm and tender,
As yon couple, mingling kisses,
Show — nor dream that aught amiss is.
Who supposes summer roses —
When the bee no longer settles
On their satin-surfaced petals,
Young no more, nor sweet, nor tender, —
View with scorn their pirate's splendour!
I remember one September,
Light as thistledown or feather,
Long with love we strayed together,
Careless of wise word or censure,
On a quest of sweet adventure.
Why and wherefore blame them, therefore?
Puppets they — yon pretty couple —
He so strong and she so supple,
Dancing fast, and fast, and faster
At the will of Love, their master!
Little woman, Love is human,
Fickle too, and there's the pity;
Never yet was wench so witty,
King so strong, or knave so clever
As to make him theirs for ever.
Though September blows no ember
Into flame for you this season,
Yet 'tis neither rhyme nor reason
Thus to scoff, with chilly phrases,
At the flames that she upraises.