Summer Dreams

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by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

   When the Summer sun is shining,
      And the green things push and grow,
   Oft my heart runs over measure,
   With its flowing fount of pleasure,
      As I feel the sea winds blow;
      Ah, then life is good, I know.

   And I think of sweet birds building,
      And of children fair and free;
   And of glowing sun-kissed meadows,
   And of tender twilight shadows,
      And of boats upon the sea.
      Oh, then life seems good to me!

   Then unbidden and unwanted,
      Come the darker, sadder sights;
   City shop and stifling alley,
   Where misfortune’s children rally;
      And the hot crime-breeding nights,
      And the dearth of God’s delights.

   And I think of narrow prisons
      Where unhappy songbirds dwell,
   And of cruel pens and cages
   Where some captured wild thing rages
      Like a madman in his cell,
      In the Zoo, the wild beasts’ hell.

   And I long to lift the burden
      Of man’s selfishness and sin;
   And to open wide earth’s treasures
   Of God’s storehouse, full of pleasures,
      For my dumb and human kin,
      And to ask the whole world in.


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