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The Long Days


  Yes! they are here again, the long, long days,
    After the days of winter, pinched and white;
    Soon, with a thousand minstrels comes the light,
  Late, the sweet robin-haunted dusk delays.

  But the long days that bring us back the flowers,
    The sunshine, and the quiet-dripping rain,
    And all the things we knew of spring again,
  The long days bring not the long-lost long hours.

  The hours that now seem to have been each one
    A summer in itself, a whole life's bound,
    Filled full of deathless joy--where in his round,
  Have these forever faded from the sun?

  The fret, the fever, the unrest endures,
    But the time flies.... Oh, try, my little lad,
    Coming so hot and play-worn, to be glad
  And patient of the long hours that are yours!

William Dean Howells