Through laughing leaves the sunlight comes,
Turning the green to gold;
The bee about the heather hums,
And the morning air is cold
Here on the breezy woodland side,
Where we two ride.
Through laughing leaves on golden hair,
The sunlight glances down,
And makes a halo round her there,
And crowns her with a crown
Queen of the sunrise and the sun,
As we ride on.
The wanton wind has kissed her face,—
His lips have left a rose,—
He found her cheek so sweet a place
For kisses, I suppose,—
He thought he’d leave a sign, that so
Others might know.
The path grows narrower as we ride
The green boughs close above,
And overhead, and either side,
The wild birds sing of Love:—
But ah, she is not listening
To what they sing!
Till I take up the wild bird’s song
And word by word unfold
Its meaning as we ride along,—
And when my tale is told,
I turn my eyes to hers again,—
And then,—and then,—
(The bridle path more narrow grows,
The leaves shut out the sun;—)
Where the wind’s lips left their one rose
My own leave more than one:—
While the leaves murmur up above,
And laugh for love.
This was the place;—you see the sky
Now ’twixt the branches bare;
About the path the dead leaves lie,
And songless is the air;—
All’s changed since then, for that you know
Was long ago.
Let us ride on! The wind is cold.—
Let us ride on—ride fast!—
’Tis winter, and we know of old
That love could never last
Without the summer and the sun!—
Let us ride on!