Came neath the sun of your friendship, went through the vain of our tears;
Came in with delicious loungings in balmy afternoon hours,
Went out on a chilly evening of desolation and fears.
May danced in lovely and fair, but not as she came in the old land
When she was the crown of spring and the hope of the summertime,
Where her dropping down on the leaves made a green land not a gold land,
Where she had the youth of the year and not his decaying prime.
Had you been with us autumn would have been a type of reposing,
A pleasant haven of refuge from the summer's stormy heat;
But when you vanished with April it seemed to us just the closing
Of the season of brightness and flowers and fruit and ramblings sweet.
We might have wandered together and have heard the oakleaves patter
Like films of ruddy gold, in the avenue under the hills;
With the rustling under our feet accompanying the chatter
In a rippling obligato like the tunes of tiny rills.
So might we two have beguiled the autumn away, and thereafter,
Whene'er the cold-hearted winter had taken the autumn's place,
We might have melted his chill with our warmth of shouting and laughter,
Sending a glow through the body and summer back to the face.
Spring will come back with the sunshine after winter's storms and showers,
Perhaps neath sun of your friendship, perhaps through vain of our tears;
But will the delicious loungings in balmy afternoon hours,
That we had in that golden April, be ours in after years?
First published in the Australian Town and Country Journal, 9 June 1883
Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography