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The Summer House

Midway upon the lawn it stands,
So picturesque and pretty;
Upreared by patient artist hands,
Admired of all the city;
The very arbor of my dream,
A covert cool and airy,
So leaf-embowered as to seem
The dwelling of a fairy.

It is the place to lie supine
Within a hammock swinging,
To watch the sunset, red as wine,
To hear the crickets singing;
And while the insect world around
Is buzzing-by the million-
No winged thing above the ground
Intrudes in this pavilion.

It is the place, at day's decline,
To tell the old, old story
Behind the dark Madeira vine,
Behind the morning glory;
To confiscate the rustic seat
And barter stolen kisses,
For honey must be twice as sweet
In such a spot as this is.

It is the haunt where one may get
Relief from petty trouble,
May read the latest day's gazette
About the “Klondike” bubble:
How shanties rise like golden courts.
Where sheep wear glittering fleeces,
How gold is picked up-by the quartz-
And all get rich as Croesus.

Here hid away from dust and heat,
Secure from rude intrusion,
While willing lips the thought repeat,
So grows the fond illusion:
That happiness the product is
Of lazy, languid dozing,
Of soft midsummer reveries,
Half-waking, half-reposing.

And here in restful interlude,
Life's fallacies forgetting,
Its frailties-such a multitude-
The fuming and the fretting,
Amid the fragrance, dusk, and dew,
The happy soul at even
May walk abroad, and interview
Bright messengers from Heaven.

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