Belated

BLITHE summer blossom, born too late,
Wilt make my desert garden fair?
Lo Winter's hand is on the gate,
His breath is in the curdling air.

Still yesterweek, but yesterweek,
Thou hadst, unfolding in warm light,
Spread ripening to the crimson streak
And seed to make the next year bright.

But now there fall the latter rains,
The chills that brown the ferns are come;
Southward, above the shivering plains,
The eddying swallows hasten home.

Oh flower too frail, too late of birth,
There is no sun for such as thou:
Droop down upon the barren earth;
What boots it to have blossomed now?

by Augusta Davies Webster

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