LAST night I stole away alone, to find
A mellow crescent setting o’er the sea,
And lingered in its light, while over me
Blew fitfully the grieving autumn wind.
And somewhat sadly to myself I said,
“Summer is gone,” and watched how bright and fast
Through the moon’s track the little waves sped past, —
“Summer is gone! her golden days are dead.”
Regretfully I thought, “Since I have trod
Earth’s ways with willing or reluctant feet,
Never did season bring me days more sweet,
Crowned with rare joys and priceless gifts from God.
”And they are gone: they will return to more."
The slender moon went down, all red and still:
The stars shone clear, the silent dews fell chill;
The waves with ceaseless murmur washed the shore.
A low voice spake: “And wherefore art thou sad?
Here in thy heart all summer folded lies,
And smiles in sunshine though the sweet time dies:
'T is thine to keep forever fresh and glad!”
Yea, gentle voice, though the fair days depart,
And skies grow cold above the restless sea,
God’s gifts are measureless, and there shall be
Eternal summer in the grateful heart.