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The World’s Wit and Humor: An Encyclopedia in 15 Volumes. 1906.

Frank Dempster Sherman (1860–1916)

Love’s Seasons

From “Madrigals and Catches”

’TWAS spring when I first found it out;

’Twas autumn when I told it;

The gloomy winter made me doubt,

And summer scarce could hold it.

“She loves,” the mating robins sang

In sweet, delicious trebles,

And through the brooks the echo rang

In music o’er the pebbles.

The fresh air, filled with fragrant scent

Of blossoms, softly hinted

The selfsame song; where’er I went

I found the message printed

On bud and leaf, on earth and sky,

Through sun and rain it glistened,

And though I never reasoned why,

I always read or listened.

The summer dawned, and still the birds

Sang in their tree-top glory,

And something seemed to make their words

A sequel to my story:

“You love,” they twittered in the trees,

Whene’er the light wind stirred them.

Distracting words! on every breeze

They fluttered, and I heard them.

At last the mellow autumn came,

And all the leaves were turning,

The fields and forests were aflame

In golden sunlight burning;

The parting birds sang out again

A sentimental message:

“Go tell her,” whispered they, and then

I thought ’twas love’s first presage.

Oh timid-hearted twenty-four,

To faint and lose your courage,

Or half-reluctantly implore

A pretty girl at her age!

For when I stammered what they’d sung,

And all their secrets told her,

She said the birds were right, and hung

Her head upon my shoulder.