An Autumn Violet

I saw a miracle to-day!
Where the September sunshine lay
Languidly as a lost desire
Upon a sumach's fading fire,
Where calm some pallid asters trod,
Indifferent, past a golden-rod,
Beside a gray-haired thistle set,-
A perfect purple violet.

I wonder what it were to miss
The life of spring, and live like this?
To bloom so lone, to bloom so late,
And were it worth the while to wait
So long for such a little day?
And were it not a better way
Never, indeed, (worse might befall,)
To be a violet at all?

So lonely when the spring was gone,
So calm when autumn splendors shone,
So peaceful midst the blazing flowers,
So blessed through the golden hours,
So might have bloomed my love for thee.
It is not, and it cannot be,-
It cannot, must not be,-and yet,
I picked for thee the violet.