John Howard Payne

(9 June 1791 – 10 April 1852 / New York City, New York)

Cadences


I
(MINOR)

THE ANCIENT memories buried lie,
And the olden fancies pass;
The old sweet flower-thoughts wither and fly,
And die as the April cowslips die,
That scatter the bloomy grass.

All dead, my dear! And the flowers are dead,
And the happy blossoming spring;
The winter comes with its iron tread,
The fields with the dying sun are red,
And the birds have ceas’d to sing.

I trace the steps on the wasted strand
Of the vanish’d springtime’s feet:
Wither’d and dead is our Fairyland,
For Love and Death go hand in hand
Go hand in hand, my sweet!

II
(MAJOR)

OH, what shall be the burden of our rhyme,
And what shall be our ditty when the blossom’s on the lime?
Our lips have fed on winter and on weariness too long:
We will hail the royal summer with a golden-footed song!

O lady of my summer and my spring,
We shall hear the blackbird whistle and the brown sweet throstle sing,
And the low clear noise of waters running softly by our feet,
When the sights and sounds of summer in the green clear fields are sweet.

We shall see the roses blowing in the green,
The pink-lipp’d roses kissing in the golden summer sheen;
We shall see the fields flower thick with stars and bells of summer gold,
And the poppies burn out red and sweet across the corn-crown’d wold.

The time shall be for pleasure, not for pain;
There shall come no ghost of grieving for the past betwixt us twain;
But in the time of roses our lives shall grow together,
And our love be as the love of gods in the blue Olympic weather.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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