It is summer all over the meadows,
All over the woods and the sea;
How many the glad days of summer
My Father has given to me!
I think of the long-ago summers,
With their woodbine and feathery fern—
Of the rambling lanes and the hedgerows—
Of the tumbling mountain burn.
The foxgloves afar in the forest,
And the cranesbill soft and blue,
As eyes that look into Heaven
Till the Heaven itself shines through.
As a story of rapture and wonder
Are those hedge flowers wild and free,
The travellers’ joy and the mullein,
And the pink thrift near the sea.
The thyme and the marjoram purple,
The meadow-sweet fair and cool,
Where the reedy streams go wandering
Down to the deep mill-pool.
The scabious and the yarrow
Over the chalky down,
The flowering rush in the trenches,
With rose and crimson crown;
The water violet stately,
And the frosted bog-bean white
The whole wide world was a marvel,
A garden of strange delight!
O ye thousand thousand flowers,
To me as a sign ye stand,
Of the things of joy and wonder
In the glorious summer land—
The Lord, who has strewn them broadcast
Over the lonely hills,
Who has filled the woods with music,
And has gemmed the mountain rills—
Oh what has He made to greet us
In the land of fair delight,
Where His own shall rejoice before Him,
And shall walk with Him in white?
Hymns of Ter Steegen and Others (Second Series), 1899