Home  »  A Library of American Literature  »  A September Violet

Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

A September Violet

By Robert Underwood Johnson (1853–1937)

FOR days the peaks wore hoods of cloud,

The slopes were veiled in chilly rain;

We said: It is the Summer’s shroud,

And with the brooks we moaned aloud,—

Will sunshine never come again?

At last the west wind brought us one

Serene, warm, cloudless, crystal day,

As though September, having blown

A blast of tempest, now had thrown

A gauntlet to the favored May.

Backward to Spring our fancies flew,

And, careless of the course of Time,

The bloomy days began anew.

Then, as a happy dream comes true,

Or as a poet finds his rhyme—

Half wondered at, half unbelieved—

I found thee, friendliest of the flowers!

Then Summer’s joys came back, green-leaved,

And its doomed dead, awhile reprieved,

First learned how truly they were ours.

Dear violet! Did the Autumn bring

Thee vernal dreams, till thou, like me,

Didst climb to thy imagining?

Or was it that the thoughtful Spring

Did come again, in search of thee?