by Stephen Collins Foster (1826 - 1864)

I would not die in Summer time 
Language: English 
I would not die in Summer time 
When hearts are light and free, 
And joy is borne from every clime 
O'er mountain, stream and lea. 
I would not leave the friends I know, 
Beguiled of hope and cheer, 
To lose in burning tears of woe 
The glad time of the year. 

Oh! no, I would not pass away 
When from the  leafy grove, 
The red bird carols all the day 
Its song of joy and love; 
When merry warblers trill their notes 
From every bush and tree, 
And on the breeze, an anthem floats 
Of heaven-born melody. 

I would not die in Summertime, 
And lie within the tomb, 
When blushing fruits are in their prime, 
And fields are in their bloom; 
For I would reap the yellow grain 
And bind it in the sheeves; 
Then die when Autumn winds complain 
Among the blighted leaves.


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Researcher for this text: Laura Prichard [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2015-12-26
Line count: 24
Word count: 144