An Answer

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by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

If all the year was summer time,
And all the aim of life
Was just to lilt on like a rhyme,
Then I would be your wife.

If all the days were August days,
And crowned with golden weather,
How happy then through green-clad ways
We two could stray together!

If all the nights were moonlit nights,
And we had naught to do
But just to sit and plan delights,
Then I would wed with you.

If life was all a summer fete,
Its soberest pace the "glide,"
Then I would choose you for my mate,
And keep you at my side.

But winter makes full half the year,
And labor half of life,
And all the laughter and good cheer
Give place to wearing strife.

Days will grow cold, and moons wax old.
And then a heart that's true
Is better far than grace or gold—
And so, my love, adieu!
I cannot wed with you.

from Poems of Passion by Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1883)

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