Denis MacCarthy

Seasons of the Heart

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The different hues that deck the earth
All in our bosoms have their birth;
'Tis not in the blue or sunny skies,
'Tis in the heart the summer lies!
The earth is bright if that be glad,
Dark is the earth if that be sad:
And thus I feel each weary day--
'Tis winter all when thou'rt away!

In vain, upon her emerald car,
Comes Spring, "the maiden from afar,"
And scatters o'er the woods and fields
The liberal gifts that nature yields;
In vain the buds begin to grow,
In vain the crocus gilds the snow;
I feel no joy though earth be gay--
'Tis winter all when thou'rt away!

And when the Autumn crowns the year,
And ripened hangs the golden ear,
And luscious fruits of ruddy hue
The bending boughs are glancing through,
When yellow leaves from sheltered nooks
Come forth and try the mountain brooks,
Even then I feel, as there I stray--
'Tis winter all when thou'rt away!

And when the winter comes at length,
With swaggering gait and giant strength,
And with his strong arms in a trice
Binds up the streams in chains of ice,
What need I sigh for pleasures gone,
The twilight eve, the rosy dawn?
My heart is changed as much as they--
'Tis winter all when thou'rt away!

Even now, when Summer lends the scene
Its brightest gold, its purest green,
Whene'er I climb the mountain's breast,
With softest moss and heath-flowers dress'd,
When now I hear the breeze that stirs
The golden bells that deck the furze,
Alas! unprized they pass away--
'Tis winter all when thou'rt away!

But when thou comest back once more,
Though dark clouds hang and loud winds roar,
And mists obscure the nearest hills,
And dark and turbid roll the rills,
Such pleasures then my breast shall know,
That summer's sun shall round me glow;
Then through the gloom shall gleam the May--
'Tis winter all when thou'rt away!

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Denis MacCarthy