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August Poems

Table of Contents

  1. August by Annette Wynne
  2. August by Mary B. C. Slade
  3. An August Wood Road by Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts
  4. In August by Katharine Lee Bates
  5. Late August by William Stanley Braithwaite
  6. August by Rebecca Hey
  7. August by William D. Gallaher
  8. August by Lizette Woodworth Reese
  9. August by Ed Blair
  10. August by Gay Waters
  11. August Afternoon by Hilda Conkling
  12. August Night by Elizabeth Madox Roberts
  13. An August Cricket by Arthur Goodenough
  14. August by Jean Blewett
  15. August by Ellwood Roberts
  16. August by James B. Kenyon
  17. In August by William Dean Howells
  18. The August Sky by Edith Franklin Wyatt

  1. August

    by Annette Wynne

    August days are hot and still,
    Not a breath on house or hill,
    Not a breath on height or plain,
    Weary travelers cry for rain;
    But the children quickly find
    A shady place quite to their mind;
    And there all quietly they stay,
    Until the sun has gone away,—
    August is too hot for play!

  2. August

    by Mary B. C. Slade

    I come! I come! and the waving field
    Its wealth of golden grain shall yield.
    In the hush and heat of glowing noon,
    The insects' hum is the only tune;
    For the merriest birds forget to sing,
    And sit in the shade with drooping wing.

    But see! how the purpling grapes hang high,
    And ripen beneath my sunny sky!
    And see! how the fruits of the bending tree
    Turn blushing and rosy cheeks to me!
    And soon shall your garners be over-full
    With gifts from the August bountiful.

  3. An August Wood Road

    by Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts

    When the partridge coveys fly
    In the birch-tops cool and high;

    When the dry cicadas twang
    Where the purpling fir-cones hang;

    When the bunch-berries emboss—
    Scarlet beads—the roadside moss;

    Brown with shadows, bright with sun,
    All day long till day is done

    Sleeps in murmuring solitude
    The worn old road that threads the wood.

    In its deep cup—grassy, cool—
    Sleeps the little roadside pool;

    Sleeps the butterfly on the weed,
    Sleeps the drifted thistle-seed.

    Like a great and blazing gem,
    Basks the beetle on the stem.

    Up and down the shining rays
    Dancing midges weave their maze.

    High among the moveless boughs,
    Drunk with day, the night-hawks drowse.

    Far up, unfathomably blue,
    August's heaven vibrates through.

    The old road leads to all things good;
    The year's at full, and time's at flood.

  4. In August

    by Katharine Lee Bates

    Beside the country road with truant grace
    Wild carrot lifts its circles of white lace.
    From vines whose interwoven branches drape
    The old stone walls, come pungent scents of grape.
    The sumach torches burn; the hardhack glows;
    From off the pines a healing fragrance blows;
    The pallid Indian pipe of ghostly kin
    Listens in vain for stealthy moccasin.
    In pensive mood a faded robin sings;
    A butterfly with dusky, gold-flecked wings
    Holds court for plumy dandelion seed
    And thistledown, on throne of fireweed.

    The road goes loitering on, till it hath missed
    Its way in goldenrod, to keep a tryst,
    Beyond the mosses and the ferns that veil
    The last faint lines of its forgotten trail,
    With Lonely Lake, so crystal clear that one
    May see its bottom sparkling in the sun
    With many-colored stones. The only stir
    On its green banks is of the kingfisher
    Dipping for prey, but oft, these haunted nights,
    That mirror shivers into dazzling lights,
    Cleft by a falling star, a messenger
    From some bright battle lost, Excalibur.

  5. Late August

    by William Stanley Braithwaite

    Change of heart in the dreams I bear—
    Green leaf turns to brown;
    The second half of the month is here,
    The days are closing down.

    Love so swift to up and follow
    The season's fugitive,
    If thou must, make rapture hollow,
    But leave me dreams to live.

    Change of heart! O season's end!
    Time and tide and sorrow!
    I care not what the Fates may send,
    Here's to ye, goodmorrow!

  6. August

    by Rebecca Hey

    Oh! for the covert of some gelid cave,
    Whose dank walls cradle a perennial stream,
    That never flash'd to Summer's ardent beam,
    But, chastely cold, might tempt in its clear wave
    Some fabled nymph her fairy form to lave.
    Now beauty yields to splendour, flowers to fruit:
    No more "in linked sweetness" gaily shoot
    Woodbine and rose from moss-grown wall, or brave
    The beetling cliff, whose frowning horrors yield
    To their sweet witchery. See, how broad noon,
    With fervid glare, broods o'er yon sloping field,
    "Now white to harvest:" yet another moon,
    And then shall Plenty's copious horn be fill'd
    With golden fruits from Spring's fair blossoms won.

  7. August

    by William D. Gallaher

    Dust on thy mantle! dust,
    Bright Summer, on thy livery of green!
    A tarnish, as of rust,
    Dimmeth thy brilliant sheen:
    And the young glories—leaf, and bud, and flower,
    Change cometh o'er them with every hour.

    These hath the August sun
    Look'd on with hot, and fierce, and brassy face:
    And still and lazily run,
    Scarce whispering in their pace,
    The half-dried rivulets, that lately sent
    A shout of gladness up, as on they went.

    Flame-like, the long midday,
    With not so much of sweet air as hath stirr'd
    The down upon the spray,
    Where rests the panting bird,
    Dozing away the hot and tedious noon,
    With fitful twitter, sadly out of tune.

    Seeds in the sultry air,
    And gossamer webwork on the sleeping trees!
    E'en the tall pines, that rear
    Their plumes to catch the breeze,
    The slightest breeze from the unfruitful West,
    Partake the general languor and deep rest.

    Happy, as man may be,
    Stretch'd on his back, in homely beanvine bower,
    While the voluptuous bee
    Robs each surrounding flower,
    And prattling childhood clambers o'er his breast,
    The husbandman enjoys his noonday rest.

    Against the mazy sky,
    Motionless rests the thin and fleecy cloud,
    LEE, such have met thine eye,
    And such thy canvass crowd!
    And, painter, ere it from thy easel goes,
    With the sky's light, and shade, and warmth it glows.

    Thy pencil, too, can give
    Form to the glowing images that throng
    The poet's brain, and live
    For ever in his song.
    Glory awaits thee, gifted one! and Fame
    High in Art's temple shall inscribe thy name.

    Soberly, in the shade,
    Repose the patient cow and toilworn ox;
    Or in the shoal stream wade,
    Shelter'd by jutting rocks:
    The fleecy flock, fly-scourged and restless, rush
    Madly from fence to fence, from bush to bush.

    Slow, now, along the plain,
    Creeps the cool shade, and on the meadow's edge:
    The kine are forth again,
    The bird flits in the hedge;
    Now in the molten west sinks the hot sun.
    Welcome, mild eye! the sultry day is done.

    Pleasantly comest thou,
    Dew of the evening, to the crisp'd-up grass;
    And the curled cornblades bow
    As the light breezes pass,
    That their parch'd lips may feel thee, and expand,
    Thou sweet reviver of the fever'd land.

    So to the thirsting soul
    Cometh the dew of the Almighty's love;
    And the scathed heart, made whole,
    Turneth in joy above,
    To where the spirit freely may expand,
    And rove untrammell'd in that "better land."

    "The quiet August noon has come;
    A slumberous silence fills the sky;
    The winds are still, the trees are dumb,
    In glassy sleep the waters lie."

    – William Cullen Bryant
    A Noon Scene
  8. August

    by Lizette Woodworth Reese

    No wind, no bird. The river flames like brass.
    On either side, smitten as with a spell
    Of silence, brood the fields. In the deep grass,
    Edging the dusty roads, lie as they fell
    Handfuls of shriveled leaves from tree and bush.
    But ’long the orchard fence and at the gate,
    Thrusting their saffron torches through the hush,
    Wild lilies blaze, and bees hum soon and late.
    Rust-colored the tall straggling briar, not one
    Rose left. The spider sets its loom up there
    Close to the roots, and spins out in the sun
    A silken web from twig to twig. The air
    Is full of hot rank scents. Upon the hill
    Drifts the noon’s single cloud, white, glaring, still.

  9. August

    by Ed Blair

    The August sun is pouring on the land,
    His scorching rays, and vegetation stands
    Beseeching to the skies for showers again
    And being answered like the prayers of men.

    Along the creeks the white rocks heat and glow,
    As it some one had built great fires below,
    And cattle stand in stagnant pools to fight
    The pestering flies that trouble day and night.

    In vain we look for those refreshing showers
    That come so oft in Spring at call of flowers,
    But clouds come to our view, then pass away,
    And leave us in despair at close of day.

  10. August

    by Gay Waters

    The hot still sky is hushed in silent rest;
    No voice of bird.
    A fleecy whiteness wings away to west.
    No leaf is stirred.
    The poplar's silver glistens in the burning light,
    The meadow lands
    Bathed in the still heat of a hot delight,
    The hay-cart stands
    On the white road waiting in the sun.
    A straggling vine
    Stretches across a dell where brown bees hum
    And wet weeds shine,
    A locust slips its shrill note in the air;
    The beetles' drone
    Flecks the hushed stillness here and there
    With lazy tone.

  11. August Afternoon

    by Hilda Conkling

    Sea-blue of gentian,
    Blackberries ebony stain,
    Yellow of goldenrod,
    Tree fringes wavering along the road
    Under the hill,
    These make up an August afternoon
    I have known:
    But more than fruit or flower or tree
    Is my mother's love I hold
    In my heart.

  12. August Night

    by Elizabeth Madox Roberts

    We had to wait for the heat to pass,
    And I was lying on the grass,

    While Mother sat outside the door,
    And I saw how many stars there were.

    Beyond the tree, beyond the air,
    And more and more were always there.

    So many that I think they must
    Be sprinkled on the sky like dust.

    A dust is coming through the sky!
    And I felt myself begin to cry.

    So many of them and so small,
    Suppose I cannot know them all.

  13. An August Cricket

    by Arthur Goodenough

    When August days are hot and long,
    And the August hills are hazy,
    And clouds are slow and winds also,
    And brooks are low and lazy.

    When beats the fierce midsummer sun,
    Upon the drying grasses;
    A modest minstrel sings his song
    To any soul that passes.

    A modest, yet insistent bard
    Who while the landscape slumbers;
    And Nature seems, herself asleep,
    Pours out his soul in numbers.

    His song is in a tongue unknown,
    Yet those, methink, who hear it
    Drink in it's healing melody
    Renewed in frame and spirit.

    His life is brief as is the leaf
    To summer branches clinging!
    But yet no thought of death or grief,
    He mentions in his singing.

    No epic strain is his to sing;—
    No tale of loss or glory;—
    He has no borrowed heroines;
    His heroes are not gory.

    He is no scholar; all he knows
    Was taught by his condition,
    He never studied synthesis,
    Nor simple composition.

    His lays are all of rustic themes;
    Of summer's joys and treasure
    Yet scarce could Homer's masterpiece,
    Afford us keener pleasure.

  14. August

    by Jean Blewett

    God in His own right hand doth take each day—
    Each sun-filled day—each rare and radiant night.
    And drop it softly on the earth and say:
    "Touch earth with heaven's own beauty and delight."

  15. August

    by Ellwood Roberts

    Now sober August comes—the scene, Beneath the Summer's sun still fair;
    The woods have changed their shade of green,
    New scents are floating on the air.
    The farmer rests—the harvest o'er,
    Awhile from labor's steady strain;
    The season's crops are all in store,
    The barns well filled with hay and grain.

    The Summer months are nearly past,
    Regretted much, they glide away,
    And now we enter on the last;
    A blessed trinity are they!
    The lazy cattle in the shade
    Of friendly trees at noonday lie;
    Or, roused by swarming insects, wade
    In stream that passes murmuring by.

    A parching drouth consumes the land,
    Deep Hes the dust in all the roads,
    How closely every cloud is scanned!
    The sultry heat a storm forebodes.
    The rumbling thunder's warning sound,
    Faint in the distance now we hear,
    With stifling air and thirsty ground,
    A welcome note it strikes the ear.

    The storm comes on, the drouth is gone,
    Refreshing floods of rain descend;
    All night it pours—another dawn
    Breaks slowly ere the showers end.
    The drouth is gone, but with it all
    The glory of the Summer-time;
    The leaves will soon begin to fall,
    The season now has passed its prime.

    The tall corn, bending in the gale,
    The cooler night, the shortening day;
    All Nature's voices tell the tale—
    The Summer passes soon away!
    The fields of corn that ripen slow,
    Of Autumn speak, and breezes all,
    That o'er the fields of stubble blow,
    Proclaim the coming of the Fall.

  16. August

    by James B. Kenyon

    She sits within the shadow of the vine,
    A swart young gypsy queen with turbaned head;
    About her knees her dusky hands are spread;
    Her somber eyes with inward ardors shine.
    The woodbine leaves already glow like wine;
    The parched blooms droop above their dusty bed;
    And still she sits, as one among the dead,
    And o'er the mown fields stares and makes no sign.
    An alien from a torrid clime, she knows
    Full well her empery is brief, and soon
    Where the shrunk stream amid its pebbles flows,
    And the cicada's challenge stabs the noon,
    Winter by night shall pile its drifting snows,
    And the frore North chant loud his icy rune.

  17. In August

    by William Dean Howells

    All the long August afternoon,
    The little drowsy stream
    Whispers a melancholy tune,
    As if it dreamed of June
    And whispered in its dream.

    The thistles show beyond the brook
    Dust on their down and bloom,
    And out of many a weed-grown nook
    The aster-flowers look
    With eyes of tender gloom.

    The silent orchard aisles are sweet
    With smell of ripening fruit.
    Through the sere grass, in shy retreat,
    Flutter, at coming feet,
    The robins strange and mute.

    There is no wind to stir the leaves,
    The harsh leaves overhead;
    Only the querulous cricket grieves,
    And shrilling locust weaves
    A song of Summer dead.

  18. The August Sky

    by Edith Franklin Wyatt

    Sparkling in splendor, the Kite and the Dipper
    Crossed the black welkin, and Scorpio's star
    Lit on the runway stag, herdsman and skipper,
    When I was dust, perhaps, bed-rock or spar.

    Dust, fire, or dew, or the wind of the morning,
    Foam of some seacoast unknown, on the deep,
    Somewhere I lived in creation's adorning,
    Still, on the nights when Joan walked with her sheep.

    What was I dreaming and where did I wander,
    All through the Augusts be fore I could know?
    Crystal the Archer swept high over yonder:
    Close to the zenith burned Vega's blue snow.

    Glory on glory the night's coronation
    Circled the heavens before I was born—
    Shone while I slept in the soul of creation
    Somewhere when Ruth wept for home in the corn.

    Glory on glory the night's coronation
    Throbbed in a beauty past dream and desire,
    Proud as I slept in the soul of creation,
    Breath of the morning or bed-rock or fire.

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