While Summers Pass

Veteran’s Day, November 11

While Summers Pass.


SUMMER comes and summer goes,
Buds the primrose, fades the rose;
But his footfall on the grass,
Coming swiftly to my door,
I shall hear again no more,
Though a thousand summers pass.

Once he loved the clovers well,
Loved the larkspur and bluebell.
And the scent the plum-blooms yield;
But strange flowers his soul beguiled,
Pallid lilies, laurels wild,
Blooming in a crimson field.

So he plucked the laurels there,
And he found them sweet and fair
In that field of blood-red hue;
And, when on a summer night
Moonlight drenched my clovers white,
Lo! He plucked Death’s lilies, too.

It may be that e’en to-night,
In the Gardens of Delight,
Where his shining soul must dwell,
He has found some flowers more sweet
Than the clovers at my feet,
Some celestial asphodel.

But while summer comes and goes,
With the primrose and the rose
Comes his footfall on the grass—
Gladly, lightly to my door—
I shall hear it echo o’er,
Though a thousand summers pass.

—Aline Michaelis, The Enterprise, Beaumont, Texas, 1918.

The Moral Liberal recommends The Making of America: The Substance and Meaning of the Constitution by Dr. Cleon Skousen.