The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

When Skies Were Blue

Dedication: To My Wife


Source: A. H. Bullen, A Christmas Garland (London: John C. Nimmo, 1885)

When skies were blue and hearts were gay,
We wandered in the prime of May
By primrose-banks, and where the breeze
Shook snow-bloom from the cherry-trees,
And golden gorse stretched leagues away.

When August eves were cool and sweet,
We watched the slant rays gild the wheat,
Or far down woodland alleys lone
Heard stock-doves make delicious moan,
And chid the hours that flew so fleet.

Now, while the twinkling shadows fall
Athwart the casement and the wall,
Beside the fire-light's ruddy gleam,
As day goes down, we muse and dream,
And all our past delights recall.

Tho' envious mists usurp the morn,
And mire lies deep in ways forlorn,
Sweet Heart, while Love our feet shall guide,
What ills, forsooth, can us betide
Who laugh the darkling days to scorn?

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