The Great War

from Great Poems of the World War, an electronic edition

While Summers Pass

SUMMER comes and summer goes,

Buds the primrose, fades the rose;

But his footfall on the grass,

Coming swiftly to my door,

I shall hear again no more,

Though a thousand summers pass.

Once he loved the clovers well,

Loved the larkspur and bluebell.

And the scent the plum--blooms yield;

But strange flowers his soul beguiled,

Pallid lilies, laurels wild,

Blooming in a crimson field.

So he plucked the laurels there,

And he found them sweet and fair

In that field of blood-red hue;

And, when on a summer night

Moonlight drenched my clovers white,

Lo! He plucked Death's lilies, too.

It may be that e'en to--night,

In the Gardens of Delight,

Where his shining soul must dwell,

In has found some flowers more sweet

Than the clovers at my feet,

Some celestial asphodel.

But while summer comes and goes,

With the primrose and the rose

Comes his footfall on the grass--

Gladly, lightly to my door--

I shall hear it echo o'er,

Though a thousand summers pass.