Indian Summer.

A poem by Hattie Howard

Is it not our bounden duty
Harsh and bitter thoughts to quell,
Wild, ambitions schemes repel,
And to revel in the beauty
Of this Indian summer spell,
Bathing forest, field, and dell
As with radiance immortelle?

None can paint like nature dying;
Whose dissolving struggle lent
Wealth of hues so richly blent
That, through weary years of trying,
Artist skill pre-eminent
May not copy or invent
Such divine embellishment.

Knights of old from castles riding
Scattered largesse as they went
Which, like manna heaven-sent,
Cheered the poverty-abiding;
But, when 'neath "that low green tent"
Passed the hand benevolent,
Sad were they and indigent.

Monarchs, too, have thus delighted
Giving unto courtiers free,
Costly robes and tinselry;
And, as royal guests, invited
Them to sumptuous halls of glee,
Banqueting and minstrelsy,
Bacchus holding sovereignty.

Then, perchance, in mood capricious
Stripped and scorned and turned away
Those who tasted for a day
Pleasure sweet and food delicious;
Nor might any say them nay -
Lest his head the forfeit pay
Who a king dared disobey.

But our own benignant Giver,
Almoner impartial, true,
Constantly doth gifts renew;
Nor would fitfully deliver
Aught unto the chosen few,
But to all the wide world through,
Who admire his wonders, too.

Never shall the heart be poorer,
Never languish in despair,
That such affluence may share;
For than this is nothing surer -
He hath said, and will prepare
In those realms of upper air
Glories infinitely fair.

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