THEY may boast of the spring-time when flowers 

are the fairest,

And birds sing by thousands on every green tree; 

They may call it the loveliest, the greenest, the rarest, 

But summer's the season that's dearest to me!

For the brightness of sunshine, the depth of the shadows,

The crystal of waters, the fullness of green, 

And the rich flowery growth of the old 


In the glory of summer can only be seen.

Oh, the joy of the greenwood! I love to be in it, 

And list to the hum of the never-still bees;

And to hear the sweet voice of the old mother linnet, 

Unto her young calling among the leaves of the trees!

To see the red squirrel frisk hither and thither, 

And the water rat plunging about in its mirth;

And the thousand small lives that the warm summer weather 

Calls forth to rejoice on the bountiful earth!

Then the garden, no longer 't is leafless and chilly, 

But warm with the sunshine, and bright with the sheen

Of rich flowers, the moss-rose and bright tiger-lily, 

Barbaric in pomp as an Ethiop queen.

Oh, the beautiful flowers, all colors combining, 

The larkspur, the pink, and the sweet mignonette,

And the blue flower-de-luce, in the warm sunlight shining, 

As if grains of gold in its petals were set!

Yes; the summer the radiant summer's the fairest, 

For greenwoods and mountains, for meadows and bowers,

For waters, and fruits, and for blossoms the rarest, 

And for bright shining butterflies, lovely as flowers.

Mary Howitt.