Summer Song of the Strawberry-Girl
by Mary Botham Howitt (1799-1888)
It is summer! it is summer! how beautiful it looks!
There is sunshine on the old gray hills, and sunshine on the brooks
A singing-bird on every bough, soft perfumes on the air,
A happy smile on each young lip, and gladness everywhere.
Oh! is it not a pleasant thing to wander through the woods,
To look upon the painted flowers, and watch the opening buds;
Or seated in the deep cool shade at some tall ash-tree's root,
To fill my little basket with the sweet and scented fruit?
They tell me that my father's poor - that is no grief to me
When such a blue and brilliant sky my upturn'd eye can see;
They tell me, too, that richer girls can sport with toy and gem;
It may be so - and yet, methinks, I do not envy them.
When forth I go upon my way, a thousand toys are mine,
The clusters of dark violets, the wreaths of the wild vine;
My jewels are the primrose pale, the bind-weed, and the rose;
And shew me any courtly gem more beautiful than those.
And then the fruit! the glowing fruit, how sweet the scent it breathes!
I love to see its crimson cheek rest on the bright green leaves!
Summer's own gift of luxury, in which the poor may share,
The wild-wood fruit my eager eye is seeking everywhere.
Oh! summer is a pleasant time, with all its sounds and sights;
Its dewy mornings, balmy eves, and tranquil calm delights;
I sigh when first I see the leaves fall yellow on the plain,
And all the winter long I sing - Sweet summer, come again.