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A Summer Mood

Augusta Davies Webster 1837 (Poole, Dorset) – 1894



BUT wait. Let each by each the days pass by,
One faded and one blown like summer flowers;
What need of hope, with summer in the sky?
What of regret, with all fair morrows ours?
If yesterday be gone,No reck, 'twas not alone,
To-morrow will have just so sweet long hours.
But yet to-day is sweetest till 'tis flown.

But wait. Let summer day be changed from day,
Like following surges of the ebb and flow;
And flow brings breath of saltness and blithe spray,
And ebb long music of seas plashing low.
The waves, stolen out of reach
,Have no farewell for speech;
Next tide will roll as swift, as rippling go.
And yet 'tis now that's best along the beach.

Ah wait. The while we linger our lives live,
Our summer ripens purpose through our dreams;
Flower-petals fallen leave a seed to thrive,
Spent tides heap treasures from the deep sea streams;
Now drifts by unaware,
And Afterwards is heir;
To-morrow wins the wealth of yester gleams.
Yet 'tis to-day that summer makes most fair.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Augusta Davies Webster

Augusta Webster born in Poole, Dorset as Julia Augusta Davies, was an English poet, dramatist, essayist, and translator. The daughter of Vice-admiral George Davies and Julia Hume, she spent her younger years on board the ship he was stationed, the Griper. She studied Greek at home, taking a particular interest in Greek drama, and went on to study at the Cambridge School of Art. She published her first volume of poetry in 1860 under the pen name Cecil Homes. In 1863, she married Thomas Webster, a fellow at Trinity College, Cambridge. They had a daughter, Augusta Georgiana, who married Reverend George Theobald Bourke, a younger son of the Joseph Bourke, 3rd Earl of Mayo. Much of Webster's writing explored the condition of women, and she was a strong advocate of women's right to vote, working for the London branch of the National Committee for Women's Suffrage. She was the first female writer to hold elective office, having been elected to the London School Board in 1879 and 1885. In 1885 she travelled to Italy in an attempt to improve her failing health. She died on 5 September 1894, aged 57. During her lifetime her writing was acclaimed and she was considered by some the successor to Elizabeth Barrett Browning. After her death, however, her reputation quickly declined. Since the mid-1990s she has gained increasing critical attention from scholars such as Isobel Armstrong, Angela Leighton, and Christine Sutphin. Her best-known poems include three long dramatic monologues spoken by women: A Castaway, Circe, and The Happiest Girl In The World, as well as a posthumously published sonnet-sequence, "Mother and Daughter". more…

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