06 November 2013

Thoughts for an August Morn

By S.T.W.
Up with the morn and steal a glance around,
Let sleep be banished from your eyelids now;
Now range abroad, your pulse will livelier bound,
And the cool breeze will greatly fan your brow.
Heaven gave the more to cheer the darkened breast —
Evening for quiet thought, and Night for rest.
'Mid chill December's frosts and mantling snows
Tis sweet to think of August: why not, when
In calm magnificence its scenes repose
Around us! Swift, with ever ready pen
Doth Nature write her poetry, and we
Lack only hearts to feel and eyes to see.
'T is true she doth not strike the sounding lyre,
Nor charm with studied rhymes the listening ear;
She doth not write, as many bards require,
In lazy syllables fall soft to hear;
But from her thousand harps pours many a strain;
Her pen's a sun-beam and it writeth plain.
The dawn with rosy finger streaks the East,
The clouds are tinged with a bright orange hue,
And purple lingers in the hooded West,
Where darkling forests circumscribe the view;
While banks of mist along the vales recline,
And round the hills their binding edges twine.
On yonder branch beside the cottage door,
Her song the merry little blue bird sings;
Melodious notes, so often heard before,
Ring from the glades and forest openings;
And many a wood note wild and boding scream,
Echo from out the groves along the running stream.
The rich man's score, the poor man's humble friend,
In calm Contest with meek and smiling face,
Her prudent hand the poor man's joys doth send,
And at his board she sits with modest grace;
No costly mansion claims her daily care,
But mark yon cottage by the brook — she's there!
Pleasure with robe of a resplendent hue
Lingers with beauty in the rich man's halls,
And pale satiety goes thither too,
With pleasure hies to festivals and balls;
But she's a stranger round the poor man's fire,
And Pleasure there appears in simple, plain attire.
Give me a cottage in the shady grove;
With health, and competence, and quiet let me dwell;
Let songsters warble in the boughs above,
And from the fountain let the brooklet well;
I'll range o'er hill, o'er dale, by stream, by wood,
And taste of all on earth that's beautiful and good.
March 4, 1851. New York Daily Tribune 10(3082): 7. Written for the Tribune.