When the summer gave us a longer day,
And the leaves were thickest, I went away:
Like an isle, through dark clouds, of the infinite blue,
Was that summer-ramble from London and you.
It was but one burst into life and air,
One backward glance on the skirts of care,
A height on the hills with the smoke below--
And the joy that came quickly was quick to go.
But I know and I cannot forget so soon
How the Earth is shone on by Sun and Moon;
How the clouds hide the mountains, and how they move
When the morning sunshine lies warm above.
I know how the waters fall and run
In the rocks and the heather, away from the sun;
How they hang like garlands on all hill-sides,
And are the land's music, those crystal tides.
I know how they gather in valleys fair,
Meet valleys those beautiful waves to bear;
How they dance through the rocks, how they rest in the pool,
How they darken, how sparkle, and how they are cool.
I know how the rocks from their kisses climb
To keep the storms off with a front sublime;
And how on their platforms and sloping walls
The shadow of oak-tree and fir-tree falls.
I know how the valleys are bright from far,
Rocks, meadows, and waters, the wood and the scaur;
And how the roadside and the nearest hill
The foxglove and heather and harebell fill.
I know--but the joy that was quick to go
Gave more knowledge to me than words can shew;
And you know the story, and how they fare
Who love the green earth and the heavenly air.