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The Fire-Flies in the Wheat

by Harriet Prescott Spofford

Ah, never of a summer night
Will life again be half as sweet
As in that country of delight
Where straying, staying, with happy feet,
We watched the fire-flies in the wheat.

Full dark and deep the starless night,
Still throbbing with the summer heat;
There was no ray of any light,
But dancing, glancing, far and fleet,
Only the fire-flies in the wheat.

In that great country of delight,
Where youth and love the borders meet,
We paused and lingered for the sight,
While sparkling, darkling, flashed the sheet
Of splendid fire-flies in the wheat.

That night the earth seemed but a height
Whereon to rest our happy feet,
Watching one moment that wide flight
Where lightening, brightening, mount and meet
Those burning fire-flies in the wheat.

What whispered words whose memory might
Make an old heart with madness beat,
Whose sense no music can recite,
That chasing, racing, rhythmic beat
Sings out with fire-flies in the wheat.

O never of such blest despite
Dreamed I, whom fate was wont to cheat—
And like a star your face, and white—
While mingling, tingling, wild as sleet,
Stormed all those fire-flies through the wheat.

Though of that country of delight
The farther bounds we shall not greet,
Still, sweet of all, that summer night,
That maddest, gladdest night most sweet,
Watching the fire-flies in the wheat!