A Meadow-Land

Delight of keen delights in summer hours,
Is this long meadowy scene,
All rioting in festival of flowers,
And pageantry of green,
With smiling skies above and summer blue,
With ancient fields below, yet ever new.

Thou mindest me of other scenes and days,
In sunnier climes than thine,
Of mocking-birds and ever piping lays,
Of figs and muscadine,
Of dreamy afternoons and dreamy love
In silent bliss with southern skies above.

Dear meadow-lands, it makes me sigh to know
That this fair scene must die,
And sleep long months beneath the frost and snow,
And inhospitable sky;
And yet why should I sigh and yield to pain,
Since all thy loveliness will bloom again?

For long before the red men trod thy soil,
Or white men came to till
Thy blooming waste, and crown with patient toil,
Surrounding vale and hill,
All rioting with gleeful vagrant flowers
Wert thou in bloom, through long and sunny hours.

'Tis mine to lie beneath a changeless snow,
Sad, sad, to me the truth,
But thine to sleep awhile and wake to know
A gay immortal youth;
Weep thou for me, for when to dust I'm gone,
Thy festive face will still be smiling on.
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