From: At Home and Abroad, or Things and Thoughts in Europe (1856)
Author: Margaret Fuller Ossoli
Published: and Company 1856 Boston
Long summer days of days-bought pleasure,
You have done your teaching well;
Had the scholar means to tell
How grew the vine of bitter-sweet
What made the path for truant feet,
Winter nights would quickly pass,
Gazing out the magic glass
O’er which the new-world shadows pass.
But, in fault of wizard spell,
Moderns their tale can only tell
In dull words, with a poor reed
Breaking at each time of need.
Yet those to whom a hint suffices
Mottoes find for all devices,
See the knights behind their shields,
Through dried grasses, blooming fields.
A muscle-shell from the lone fairy shore,
Some antlers from tall woods which never more
To the wild deer a safe retreat can yield,
An eagle’s feather which adorned a Brave,
Well-nigh the last of his despairing band,—
For such slight gifts wilt thou extend thy hand
When weary hours a brief refreshment crave?
I give you what I can, not what I would
If my small drinking-cup would hold a flood,
As Scandinavia sung those must contain
With which the giants gods may entertain;
In our dwarf day we drain few drops, and soon must thirst again.
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