When Spring in sunny woodland lay,
And gilded buds were sparely set
On oak tree and the thorny may,
I gave my love a violet.
"O Love," she said, and kissed my mouth
With one light, tender maiden kiss,
"There are no rich blooms in the south
So fair to me as this!"
When Summer reared her haughty crest,
We paused beneath the ruddy stars;
I placed a rose upon her breast,
Plucked from the modest casement bars.
"O Love," she said, and kissed my mouth--
Heart, heart, rememb'rest thou the bliss?--
"In east or west, in north or south,
I know no rose but this!"
When Autumn raised the purple fruit
In clusters to his bearded lips,
I laid a heartsease on the lute
That sang beneath her finger-tips.
"O Love," she said--and fair her eyes
Smiled thro' the dusk upon the lea--
"No heartsease glows beneath the skies
But this thou givest me!"
When Winter wept at shaking doors,
And holly trimmed his ermine vest,
And wild winds maddened on the moors,
I laid a flower upon her breast.
"Dear Heart," I whispered to the clay,
Which stilly smiled yet answered not,
"Bear thou to Heaven itself away
True love's Forget-me-not!"