A Youth's Butterfly Dream Flutters

Which season's fairest? Is it Springtime's day
When dew-drops sparkle in the still of morning,
When first the lark pours forth its roundelay
And senses all the joy that Future's awning
Keeps hidden yet in silence, uncommuned,
When too the western wind its harp has tuned
While Nature listens, hushed, amid her bowers
To catch the word no ear lists save the flower's?

Its ear! No, with its heart it comprehends,
The flower's bud has energies untiring,
And therefore free and blithely it contends
To reach the goal to which it is aspiring,
And therefore bursts the bond that's wrapped around
Its secret, hidden soul and keeps it bound;
Not to display itself mid common flowers
But to be free to gaze where heaven towers.

You think perhaps that Winter's calm may be
The time to reap reward for your contending?
Have you, then, planted Happiness's tree
To dwell beneath the shadow it's extending?
O, were you not by calm joy oft possessed,
And did your heart not throb within your breast
When, crouched above the soil, you stood beholding
The seedling's earliest, tender shoot unfolding?

When high the eagle soars the upper air
And far below, blue-hazed, lie earth's dominions
While overhead the heavens arch so fair,
Then trusting proudly to his widespread pinions
He strives on upwards in the blue's clear span
Towards the star's abode, as near he can;
But still the goal seems, in his estimation,
Less glorious than his lofty aspiration.

But woe, if from your dream's beclouded skies
You see Life's grave below you there extending,
The world turned autumn sea before your eyes,
Wherein you watch the dream's bright sun descending.
Gloom will descend on you, then, should there shine
A twinkle from the past, a friendly sign,
That you must follow, or Life's perturbation
Will leave you prey to doubt and desolation.

Your heart is wealthy at life's dawn of day,
Then you possess a garden full of flowers,
Hope whispers as it were a friendly lay
And pledges you a summer's beaming hours,
Indeed your every dream's a budding rose
And well for you should even one unclose
And open forth and smile the smiles you've cherished -
You will be solaced for all those that perished!