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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Alice Wellington Rollins (1847–1897)

Indian Summer

LINGER, O day!

Let not thy purple haze

Fade utterly away.

The Indian summer lays

Her tender touch upon the emerald hills.

Exquisite thrills

Of delicate gladness fill the blue-veined air.

More restful even than rest,

The passionate sweetness that is everywhere.

Soft splendors in the west

Touch with the charm of coming changefulness

The yielding hills.

Oh linger, day!

Let not the dear

Delicious languor of thy dreamfulness

Vanish away!

Serene and clear,

The brooding stillness of the delicate air,

Dreamier than the dreamiest depths of sleep,

Falls softly everywhere.

Still let me keep

One little hour longer tryst with thee,

O day of days!

Lean down on me,

In tender beauty of thy amethyst haze.

Upon the vine,

Rich clinging clusters of the ripening grape

Hang silent in the sun,

But in each one

Beats with full throb the quickening purple wine,

Whose pulse shall round the perfect fruit to shape.

Too dreamy even to dream,

I hear the murmuring bee and gliding stream;

The singing silence of the afternoon,

Lulling my yielding senses till they swoon

Into still deeper rest:

While soul released from sense,

Passionate and intense,

With quick exultant quiver in its wings,

Prophetic longing for diviner things,

Escapes the unthinking breast;

Pierces rejoicing through the shining mist,

But shrinks before the keen, cold ether, kissed

By burning stars; delirious foretaste

Of joys the soul—too eager in its haste

To grasp ere won by the diviner right

Of birth through death—is far too weak to bear.

Bathed in earth’s lesser light,

Slipping down slowly through the shining air,

Once more it steals into the dreaming breast,

Praying again to be its patient guest.

And as my senses wake,

The beautiful glad soul again to take,

The twilight falls.

A lonely wood-thrush calls

The day away.

“Where hast thou been to-day,

O soul of mine?” I wondering question her.

She will not answer while the light winds stir

And rustle near to hear what she may say.

Thou needst not linger, day!

My soul and I

Would hold high converse of diviner things.

Unfold thy wings;

Wrap softly round thyself thy delicate haze,

And gliding down the slowly darkening ways,

Vanish away!