All green and fair the Summer lies,
Just budded from the bud of Spring,
With tender blue of wistful skies,
And winds which softly sing.
Her clock has struck its morning hours;
Noon nears--the flowery dial is true;
But still the hot sun veils its powers,
In deference to the dew.
Yet there amid the fresh new green,
Amid the young broods overhead,
A single scarlet branch is seen,
Swung like a banner red;
Tinged with the fatal hectic flush
Which, when October frost is in the near,
Flames on each dying tree and bush,
To deck the dying year.
And now the sky seems not so blue,
The yellow sunshine pales its ray,
A sorrowful, prophetic hue
Lies on the radiant day,
As mid the bloom and tenderness
I catch that scarlet menace there,
Like a gray sudden wintry tress
Set in a child's bright hair.
The birds sing on, the roses blow,
But like a discord heard but now,
A stain upon the petal's snow
Is that one sad, red bough.