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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

Sweet Impatience

By George Arnold (1834–1865)

[Born in New York, N. Y., 1834. Died at Strawberry Farms, Monmouth Co., N. J., 1865. From Drift: A Sea-Shore Idyl: and Other Poems. 1866.—Poems Grave and Gay. 1866.—Both edited by William Winter.]

THE SUNLIGHT glimmers dull and gray

Upon my wall to-day;

This summer is too long:

The hot days go

Weary and slow

As if time’s reckoning were perverse and wrong:

But when the flowers

Have faded, and their bloom has passed away,

Then shall my song

Be all of happier hours,

And more than one fond heart shall then be gay.

But song can never tell

How much I long to hear

One voice, that like the echo of a silver bell,

Unconscious, low, and clear,

Falls, as aforetime angel-voices fell

On Saint Cecilia’s ear:

And it will come again,

And I shall hear it, when

The droning summer bee forgets his song,

And frosty autumn crimsons hill and dell:

I shall not murmur, then,

“This summer is too long!”

The trellised grapes shall purple be

And all

The forest aisles reëcho merrily

The brown quail’s call,

And glossy chestnuts fall

In pattering plenty from the leafless tree

When autumn winds blow strong:

Then shall I see

Her worshipped face once more, and in its sunshine, I

Shall cease to sigh

“This summer is too long!”

Meanwhile, I wander up and down

The noisy town,


I miss the lithe form from my side,

The kind, caressing tone,

The gentle eyes

In whose soft depths so much of loving lies;

And lonely in the throng,—

Each jostling, bustling, grasping for his own,—

The weary words arise,

“This summer is too long!”

Haste, happy hours,—

Fade, tardy, lingering flowers!

Your fragrance has departed, long ago;

I yearn for cold winds, whistling through the ruined bowers,

For winter’s snow,

If with them, she

May come to teach my heart a cheerier song,

And lovingly

Make me forget all weariness and severance and wrong,

Whispering close and low,

“Here are we still together, Love, although

The summer was so long!”