Nonfiction > Lionel Strachey, et al., eds. > The World’s Wit and Humor > American
The World’s Wit and Humor: An Encyclopedia in 15 Volumes.  1906.
Vols. I–V: American
Love’s Seasons
By Frank Dempster Sherman (1860–1916)
From “Madrigals and Catches”

’TWAS spring when I first found it out;
  ’Twas autumn when I told it;
The gloomy winter made me doubt,
  And summer scarce could hold it.
“She loves,” the mating robins sang        5
  In sweet, delicious trebles,
And through the brooks the echo rang
  In music o’er the pebbles.
The fresh air, filled with fragrant scent
  Of blossoms, softly hinted        10
The selfsame song; where’er I went
  I found the message printed
On bud and leaf, on earth and sky,
  Through sun and rain it glistened,
And though I never reasoned why,        15
  I always read or listened.
The summer dawned, and still the birds
  Sang in their tree-top glory,
And something seemed to make their words
  A sequel to my story:        20
“You love,” they twittered in the trees,
  Whene’er the light wind stirred them.
Distracting words! on every breeze
  They fluttered, and I heard them.
At last the mellow autumn came,        25
  And all the leaves were turning,
The fields and forests were aflame
  In golden sunlight burning;
The parting birds sang out again
  A sentimental message:        30
“Go tell her,” whispered they, and then
  I thought ’twas love’s first presage.
Oh timid-hearted twenty-four,
  To faint and lose your courage,
Or half-reluctantly implore        35
  A pretty girl at her age!
For when I stammered what they’d sung,
  And all their secrets told her,
She said the birds were right, and hung
  Her head upon my shoulder.        40
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