29 August 2013

Midsummer - An 1878 Poem

Around this lovely valley rise
The purple hills of Paradise.
O, softly on yon banks of haze
Her rosy face the summer lays!
Becalmed along the azure sky
The argosies of cloudland lie,
Whose stores with many a shining rift,
Far off their pearl-white peaks uplift.
Through all the long midsummer day
The meadow sides are sweet with hay.
I seek the coolest sheltered seat,
Just where the field and forest meet —
Where grow the pine trees tall and bland,
The ancient oaks austere and grand,
The fringy roots and pebbles fret
The ripples of the rivulet.
I watch the mowers as they go
Through the tall grass, a white-sleeved row;
With even strokes their scythes they swing,
In tune with their merry whetstones ring.
Behind the nimble youngsters run,
And toss the thick swaths in the sun;
The cattle graze, while warm and still,
Slopes the broad pasture, basks the hill,
And bright, when summer breezes break,
The green wheat crinkles like a lake.
The butterfly and bumble-bee
Come to the pleasant woods with me;
Quickly before me runs the quail, 
The chickens skulk behind the rail,
High up the lone wood-pigeon sits,
And the woodpecker pecks and flits.
Sweet woodland music sinks and swells,
The brooklet rings its tinkling bells,
The swarming insects drone and hum,
The partridge beats his throbbing drum,
The squirrel leaps among the boughs,
And chatters in his leafy house;
The oriole flashes by; and look —
Into the mirror of the brook,
Where the vain blue-bird trims his coat,
Two tiny feathers fall and float.
As silently, as tenderly.
The dawn of peace descends on me.
O, this is peace! I have no need
Of friend to talk, or book to read;
A dear companion hear abides;
Close to my thrilling heart he bides;
The holy silence is His voice,
I lie, and listen, and rejoice.
August 22, 1878. Mower County Transcript 11(21): 5.