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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

Arthur William Edgar O’Shaughnessy 1844–81

Has Summer Come without the Rose?


HAS summer come without the rose,

Or left the bird behind?

Is the blue changed above thee,

O world! or am I blind?

Will you change every flower that grows,

Or only change this spot,

Where she who said, I love thee,

Now says, I love thee not?

The skies seem’d true above thee,

The rose true on the tree;

The bird seem’d true the summer through,

But all prov’d false to me.

World, is there one good thing in you,

Life, love, or death—or what?

Since lips that sang, I love thee,

Have said, I love thee not?

I think the sun’s kiss will scarce fall

Into one flower’s gold cup;

I think the bird will miss me,

And give the summer up.

O sweet place, desolate in tall

Wild grass, have you forgot

How her lips lov’d to kiss me,

Now that they kiss me not?

Be false or fair above me;

Come back with any face,

Summer!—do I care what you do?

You cannot change one place,—

The grass, the leaves, the earth, the dew,

The grave I make the spot,—

Here, where she used to love me,

Here, where she loves me not.