Menella Bute Smedley

The Seasons

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SPRING AND SUMMER

Spring is growing up,
Is not it a pity?
She was such a little thing,
And so very pretty!
Summer is extremely grand,
We must pay her duty.
(But it is to little Spring
That she owes her beauty!)

All the buds are blown,
Trees are dark and shady,
(It was Spring who dress'd them, though,
Such a little lady!)
And the birds sing loud and sweet
Their enchanting hist'ries.
(It was Spring who taught them, though,
Such a singing mistress!)
From the glowing sky
Summer shines above us;
Spring was such a little dear,
But will Summer love us?
She is very beautiful,
With her grown-up blisses,
Summer we must bow before;
Spring we coax'd with kisses!

Spring is growing up,
Leaving us so lonely,
In the place of little Spring
We have Summer only!
Summer, with her lofty airs,
And her stately paces,
In the place of little Spring,
With her childish graces!


AUTUMN

Why do the pretty flow'rs die?
Butterflies ought to protect them!
What is the use of the sun and the sky
Tempting them out to neglect them?
Honey-bee, Honey-bee, why don't you come?
Look at the sorrowful border!

It is so selfish to dawdle and hum,
When you might keep things in order.
Blame not the poor busy bees,
Merchants for traffic and buying;
Sweet idle butterflies do as they please,
They might keep blossoms from dying.
All pretty secrets are hid in the sky,
Flying up there they must know them,
How can the flow'rs find the way not to die,
Unless the butterflies show them?
Shame on the butterflies! How
Can they look buds in their faces?

Poor little lives that must drop from the bough,
Leaving no definite traces.
Hush! the bees murmur, the butterflies speak,
Crying aloud we must hear them;
I'll be so glad if the hearing they seek
From all suspicion can clear them.
Well—they declare it is we
Who are so blind and conceited,
Not understanding the work that we see
Till it is done and completed.
Over mock funerals making our moan,
For pretty favourites sighing,
Who, when Spring comes, will compel us to own
They had not a notion of dying!

WINTER

Wonderful white Winter!
I must clap my hands at you;
You are old and I am cold,
And there is nothing else to do.
You and I are glad, are glad
When the snow comes creeping down,
And icedrops fair leap out of the air
To hang on the branches brown!
Wonderful white Winter!
It is when you first begin
With berries fine the churches shine—
That is how we bring you in.
Don't you love the ding-dong bells?
Don't you love the hearty cheer?
The merry blaze, the good old plays,
When you fetch the little new year?

Wonderful white Winter!
Wave your lovely snow-white hand;
Signal make till river and lake
Form the ice that is so grand!
Oh, the ice is dear, is dear;
Faithless friend, changed by a breath,
Smooth and sweet to gliding feet,
Gliding over grim death!
Wonderful white Winter!
I will make a league with you;
You must know of want and woe,
Tell me what I ought to do!
I must feed you little birds?
Shelter to the homeless lend?
Comfort and aid the poor and afraid?
That I will, my brave old friend!

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Menella Bute Smedley