Nonfiction > E.C. Stedman & E.M. Hutchinson, eds. > A Library of American Literature > 1861–1889
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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps.  A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes.  1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889
 
Sweet Impatience
By George Arnold (1834–1865)
 
[Born in New York, N. Y., 1834. Died at Strawberry Farms, Monmouth Co., N. J., 1865. From Drift: A Sea-Shore Idyl: and Other Poems. 1866.—Poems Grave and Gay. 1866.—Both edited by William Winter.]

THE SUNLIGHT glimmers dull and gray
    Upon my wall to-day;
This summer is too long:
    The hot days go
    Weary and slow        5
As if time’s reckoning were perverse and wrong:
    But when the flowers
Have faded, and their bloom has passed away,
Then shall my song
    Be all of happier hours,        10
And more than one fond heart shall then be gay.
 
But song can never tell
    How much I long to hear
One voice, that like the echo of a silver bell,
    Unconscious, low, and clear,        15
Falls, as aforetime angel-voices fell
    On Saint Cecilia’s ear:
        And it will come again,
        And I shall hear it, when
    The droning summer bee forgets his song,        20
And frosty autumn crimsons hill and dell:
        I shall not murmur, then,
    “This summer is too long!”
 
The trellised grapes shall purple be
        And all        25
The forest aisles reëcho merrily
        The brown quail’s call,
And glossy chestnuts fall
In pattering plenty from the leafless tree
    When autumn winds blow strong:        30
Then shall I see
Her worshipped face once more, and in its sunshine, I
Shall cease to sigh
    “This summer is too long!”
 
    Meanwhile, I wander up and down        35
    The noisy town,
Alone:
    I miss the lithe form from my side,
The kind, caressing tone,
    The gentle eyes        40
    In whose soft depths so much of loving lies;
        And lonely in the throng,—
Each jostling, bustling, grasping for his own,—
    The weary words arise,
        “This summer is too long!”        45
 
    Haste, happy hours,—
    Fade, tardy, lingering flowers!
Your fragrance has departed, long ago;
    I yearn for cold winds, whistling through the ruined bowers,
For winter’s snow,        50
        If with them, she
May come to teach my heart a cheerier song,
        And lovingly
Make me forget all weariness and severance and wrong,
    Whispering close and low,        55
    “Here are we still together, Love, although
The summer was so long!”
 
 
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