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July Poems

Table of Contents

  1. July by Annette Wynne
  2. July by Robert F. Skillings
  3. July by Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts
  4. July by Madison Cawein
  5. July by Rebecca Hey
  6. July by Susan Hartley Swett
  7. A July Day by Eben Eugene Rexford
  8. A July Fern Leaf by Mortimer Collins
  9. July Dawning by Richard Watson Gilder
  10. A July Day by Philip Bourke Marston
  11. A July Noon by Helen Gray Cone
  12. July by Chauncey Hare Townshend
  13. In July by Alice Marland [Wellington] Rollins
  14. July by Helen Maria [Fiske] [Hunt] Jackson
  15. A July Night by John Todhunter
  16. July by Mary Elizabeth [McGrath] Blak
  17. July in the West by James Newton Matthews
  18. July by Edwin Arnold
  19. July by Jennette [Griffiths] Fothergill
  20. In July by Edward Dowden

  1. July

    by Annette Wynne

    July's for Independence Day,
    For flags and speeches and for play,
    For hiding deep in meadow grass
    And watching flying creatures pass,
    For sailing boats on little seas,
    Where just the smallest summer breeze
    Can blow; for picking flowers any day;
    July comes for flags and play.

  2. July

    by Robert F. Skillings

    A very pleasant mouth is this
    To be in a country town.
    The sunlight doth the foliage kiss,
    Each verdant leaflet beams with bliss,
    I see not one that's brown.

    Fresh zephyrs fan the thrifty trees
    The oaks, the elms, the willows,
    The lake's face caressed by the breeze
    In imitation of the seas,
    Is flecked with tiny billows.

  3. July

    by Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts

    I am for the open meadows,
    Open meadows full of sun,
    Where the hot bee hugs the clover,
    The hot breezes drop and run.

    I am for the uncut hayfields
    Open to the cloudless blue,—
    For the wide unshadowed acres
    Where the summer's pomps renew;

    Where the grass-tops gather purple,
    Where the oxeye daisies thrive,
    And the mendicants of summer
    Laugh to feel themselves alive;

    Where the hot scent steams and quivers,
    Where the hot saps thrill and stir,
    Where in leaf-cells' green pavilions
    Quaint artificers confer;

    Where the bobolinks are merry,
    Where the beetles bask and gleam,
    Where above the powdered blossoms
    Powdered moth-wings poise and dream;

    Where the bead-eyed mice adventure
    In the grass-roots green and dun.
    Life is good and love is eager
    In the playground of the sun!

  4. July

    by Madison Cawein

    Now 'tis the time when, tall,
    The long blue torches of the bellflower gleam
    Among the trees; and, by the wooded stream,
    In many a fragrant ball,
    Blooms of the button-bush fall.

    Let us go forth and seek
    Woods where the wild plums redden and the beech
    Plumps its packed burs; and, swelling, just in reach,
    The pawpaw, emerald sleek,
    Ripens along the creek.

    Now 'tis the time when ways
    Of glimmering green flaunt white the misty plumes
    Of the black-cohosh; and through bramble glooms,
    A blur of orange rays,
    The butterfly-blossoms blaze.

    Let us go forth and hear
    The spiral music that the locusts beat,
    And that small spray of sound, so grassy sweet,
    Dear to a country ear,
    The cricket's summer cheer.

    Now golden celandine
    Is hairy hung with silvery sacks of seeds,
    And bugled o'er with freckled gold, like beads,
    Beneath the fox-grape vine,
    The jewel-weed's blossoms shine.

    Let us go forth and see
    The dragon— and the butterfly, like gems,
    Spangling the sunbeams; and the clover stems,
    Weighed down by many a bee,
    Nodding mellifluously.

    Now morns are full of song;
    The catbird and the redbird and the jay
    Upon the hilltops rouse the rosy day,
    Who, dewy, blithe, and strong,
    Lures their wild wings along.

    Now noons are full of dreams;
    The clouds of heaven and the wandering breeze
    Follow a vision; and the flowers and trees,
    The hills and fields and streams,
    Are lapped in mystic gleams.

    The nights are full of love;
    The stars and moon take up the golden tale
    Of the sunk sun, and passionate and pale,
    Mixing their fires above,
    Grow eloquent thereof.

    Such days are like a sigh
    That beauty heaves from a full heart of bliss:
    Such nights are like the sweetness of a kiss
    On lips that half deny,
    The warm lips of July.

  5. July

    by Rebecca Hey

    Gone are Spring's graces! mute her melodies!
    Yet in their place what Summer can bestow,
    Freely she yields; she tunes the river's flow
    To gentlest music,—fills with sweets the breeze,—
    Gives the last flush of leafage to the trees,—
    Flowers to Earth's nursing bosom,—to the sky
    Brightness oppressive from intensity,—
    And calms, with halcyon wing, the azure seas.
    Such are her spells!—yet I look back on Spring
    (As middle age delights on youth to pore)
    With feelings mournful, but unmurmuring.
    I ever loved the bud more than the flower
    And hope than full enjoyment: thence I cling
    Alike to life's and nature's budding hour.

  6. July

    by Susan Hartley Swett

    When the scarlet cardinal tells
    Her dream to the dragon fly,
    And the lazy breeze makes a nest in the trees,
    And murmurs a lullaby,
    It is July.

    When the tangled cobweb pulls
    The cornflower's cap awry,
    And the lilies tall lean over the wall
    To bow to the butterfly,
    It is July.

    When the heat like a mist veil floats,
    And poppies flame in the rye,
    And the silver note in the streamlet's throat
    Has softened almost to a sigh,
    It is July.

    When the hours are so still that time
    Forgets them, and lets them lie
    'Neath petals pink till the night stars wink
    At the sunset in the sky,
    It is July.

    When each finger-post by the way
    Says that Slumbertown is nigh;
    When the grass is tall, and the roses fall,
    And nobody wonders why,
    It is July.

  7. A July Day

    by Eben Eugene Rexford

    In idle mood, this happy day,
    I let the moments drift away;
    I lie among the tangled grass
    And watch the crinkling billows pass
    O'er seas of clover. Like a tide
    That sets across the meadow wide,
    The crimson-crested ripples run
    From isles of shade to shores of sun;
    And one white lily seems to be
    A sail upon this summer sea,
    Blown northward, bringing me, to-day,
    A fragrant freight from far Cathay.

    Low as the wind that waves the rose
    In gardens where the poppy grows,
    And sweet as bells heard far away,
    A robin sings his song to-day;
    Sings softly, by his hidden nest,
    A little roundelay of rest;
    And as the wind his dwelling swings
    He dreams his dream of unfledged wings,
    While, blending with his song, I hear
    A brook's low babble, somewhere near.

    A glory wraps the hills, and seems
    To weave an atmosphere of dreams
    About the mountain's kingly crest
    As sinks the sun adown the west.
    Earth seems to sit with folded hands
    In peace he only understands
    Who has no care, no vain regret,
    No sorrow he would fain forget,
    And like a child upon her breast
    I lie, this happy day, and rest.

    The "green things growing" whisper me
    Of many an earth-old mystery;
    Of blossoms hiding in the mold,
    And what the acorn cups enfold;
    Of life unseen by eyes too dim
    To look through Nature up to Him
    Who writes the poem of the year
    For human heart, and eye, and ear.

    O summer day, surpassing fair,
    With hints of heaven in earth and air,
    Not long I keep you in my hold—
    The book is closed—the tale is told.
    The valley fills with amber mist;
    The sky is gold and amethyst.
    Soft, soft and low, and silver clear
    The robin's vesper hymn I hear,
    And see the stars lit, one by one.
    The happy summer day is done.

  8. A July Fern Leaf

    by Mortimer Collins

    White feet in the fairy fern,
    Quick wings in a chrysolite sky,
    And an amethyst lamp in the west to burn,
    When the cool dusk hours for which lovers yearn
    Pass in sweet silence by:
    Over summer seas
    Thou bringest these
    Hither, July.

    Stern hours have the merciless Fates
    Plotted for all who die:
    But looking down upon Richmond's aits,
    Where the merles sing low to their amorous mates,
    Who cares to ask them why?
    We'll have wit, love, wine,
    Ere thy days divine
    Wither, July.

    For the blossom of youth must fade,
    And the vigor of life must fly;
    Yet to-day is ours with its odorous shade,
    And the loving eyes which soon betrayed
    Dreams in the heart that lie.
    Swift life's stream flows,
    But alas! who knows
    Whither, July.

  9. July Dawning

    by Richard Watson Gilder

    We left the city, street and square,
    With lamp lights glimmering through and through,
    And turned us toward the suburb, where,
    Full from the east, the fresh wind blew.

    One cloud stood overhead the sun,
    A glorious trail of dome and spire,
    The last star flickered, and was gone;
    The first lark led the morning choir.

    Wet was the grass beneath our tread,
    Thick-dewed the bramble by the way;
    The lichen had a lovelier red,
    The elderflower a fairer grey.

    And there was silence on the land,
    Save when, from out the city's fold,
    Stricken by time's remorseless wand
    A bell across the morning tolled!

    The beeches sighed through all their boughs,
    The gusty pennons of the pine
    Swayed in a melancholy drowse,
    But with a motion sternly fine.

    One gable, full against the sun,
    Flooded the garden space beneath
    With spices, sweet as cinnamon,
    From all its honeysuckled breath.

    Then crew the cocks from echoing farms,
    The chimney tops were plumed with smoke,
    The windmill shook its slanted arms,
    The sun was up, the country woke!

    And voices sounded mid the trees
    Of orchards red with burning leaves,
    By thick hives sentineled by bees,
    From fields which promised tented sheaves;

    Till the day waxed into excess,
    And on the misty rounding grey,
    One vast, fantastic wilderness,
    The glowing roofs of London lay.

  10. A July Day

    by Philip Bourke Marston

    To-day the sun has steadfast been and clear.
    No wind has marred the spell of hushful heat,
    But, with the twilight, comes a rush and beat
    Of ghost-like wings; the sky turns grey and drear,
    The trees are stricken with a sudden fear.
    O wind forlorn, that sayeth nothing sweet,
    With what foreboding message dost them greet
    The dearest month but one of all the year?
    Ah, now it seems I catch the moan of seas
    Whose boundaries are pale regions of dismay,
    Where sad-eyed people wander without ease;
    I see in thought that lamentable array,
    And surely hear about the dying day
    Recorded dooms and mournful prophecies.

  11. A July Noon

    by Helen Gray Cone

    The sumachs, noiseless, by the still, hot road
    Stand up as guards, with blood-red soldier plumes.
    How light the hill-blue, clear of cloudy glooms!
    How lone the land, with summer overflowed!
    Dry crickets grate; a bee takes larger load
    With low, pleased muttering, where the wild-rose blooms;
    The bovine breath of sleeping fields perfumes
    Warm air, with drifts of wayside spicery sowed.
    Good earth, how glad a thing it is to be
    Part of this full, yet placid life of thine,
    Close to thy heart as humblest creatures press!
    To claim our kinship with the clod, resign,
    One sunny hour, the spiritual stress
    That leads, though lifts, our lives away from thee!

  12. July

    by Chauncey Hare Townshend

    The summer noon, than midnight's self more still,
    Lies like a weight of sleep upon the world.
    The standards of the clouds are drooped and furled
    Unmoving, and the sunbeam hath no will
    With stream or grove to play. Deep musings fill
    His soul, who all alone in some vast wood
    Looks out upon the beaming solitude,
    Listening for any sound of bird or rill,
    In vain. Come, evening, with thy blest alloy
    Of freshness, and day's dazzling wrongs repair.
    Come, like contentment after too much joy;
    Image of all our state can safely bear,
    Peace, and the finer forms of pleasure coy,
    O come, with dew, with moonlight, and sweet air.

  13. In July

    by Alice Marland [Wellington] Rollins

    The hot sun stooped, his eager thirst to slake;
    I trembled for the trembling little lake.

    I thought to see it shrivel in his clutch;
    But lo! it bloomed with lilies at his touch.

    Fear not, sweet saint, by joy to be undone;
    Peace comes with joy, like lilies with the sun.

  14. July

    by Helen Maria [Fiske] [Hunt] Jackson

    Some flowers have withered and some joys have died;
    The garden reeks with an East Indian scent
    From beds where gillyflowers stand weak and spent;
    The white heat pales the skies from side to side;
    At noonday all the living creatures hide;
    But in still lakes and rivers, cool, content,
    Like starry blooms on a new firmament,
    White lilies float and regally abide.
    In vain the cruel skies their hot rays shed;
    The lily does not feel their brazen glare;
    In vain the pallid clouds refuse to share
    Their dews; the lily feels no thirst, no dread;
    Unharmed she lifts her queenly face and head;
    She drinks of living waters and keeps fair!

  15. A July Night

    by John Todhunter

    The dreamy, long, delicious afternoon
    That filled the flowers with honey, and made well
    With earliest nectar many a secret cell
    Of pulping peaches, with a murmurous tune
    Lulled all the woods and leas; but now, how soon
    The winds have woke to break the sultry spell.
    The drowsy flocks that low in the west did dwell,
    Like oreads chased fleet madly by the moon!
    So, Cleopatra-like has rich July,
    A queen of many moods, outdreamed the day
    To hold by night wild revel. Odors warm
    Come panted with each gust, as royally,
    Magnificent alike in calm or storm,
    With some voluptuous anger she would play.

  16. July

    by Mary Elizabeth [McGrath] Blake

    A red sun rising at morning
    With flame on his burning crest;
    A red sun sinking at evening,
    In the molten glow of the west;
    The air grown languid and drooping,
    On wings too heavy to fly;
    The voice of a drowsy locust
    That croons to a drowsy sky;
    And cool waves crisping and darkling
    Across the hot sands of July!

    Down on the beach with the seashells,
    Their brave brown cheeks aglow,
    I watch the play of the children,
    And follow them to and fro.
    O sweet red lips of my darlings!
    O light of the fearless eye!
    With ye comes rest for the spirit;
    And freshness and peace draw nigh
    Like cool waves crisping and darkling,
    Across the hot sands of July!

  17. July in the West

    by James Newton Matthews

    DAY

    A rhythm of reapers; a flashing
    Of steels in the meadows; a lashing
    Of sheaves in the wheatlands; a glitter
    Of grain-builded streets, and a twitter
    Of birds in a motionless sky,—
    And that is July!

    A rustle of corn-leaves; a tinkle
    Of bells on the hills; a twinkle
    Of sheep in the lowlands; a bevy
    Of bees where the clover is heavy;
    A butterfly blundering by,—
    And that is July!

    NIGHT

    A moon-flooded prairie; a straying
    Of light-hearted lovers; a baying
    Of far away watchdogs; a dreaming
    Of brown-fisted farmers; a gleaming
    Of fireflies eddying nigh,—
    And that is July!

    A babble of brooks that deliver
    Their flower-purpled waves to the river;
    A moan in the marshes; in thickets
    A dolorous droning of crickets,
    Attuned to a whippoorwill's cry,—
    And that is July!

  18. July

    by Edwin Arnold

    Proud, on the bosom of the river
    White-winged, the vessels come and go,
    Dropping down with ingots to deliver,
    Drifting up lordly, on the flow.
    Glassed in the green waters under,
    Grand against the crimson of the sky,
    Kings of the sunshine and the thunder,
    Come they and go they in July.

    Meek, to the bosom of the river,
    White-leaved, the lily comes alone,
    From water-grass and sedges climbing ever
    Who knows the lilybud is blown?
    Who cares to think the wind of summer
    Rocking the great ships to sea,
    Kissed as it passed that latest comer,
    Rocked the white lily and the bee?

    Rocked the pale lily with its burden,
    Only a worker-bee at most,
    Working for nothing, save the guerdon
    To live on her honey in the frost.
    But on small things and large the summer shineth,
    Over ships and over lily globes the sky,
    And the sender of the summer wind divineth,
    What portion each shall have of his July!

  19. July

    by Jennette [Griffiths] Fothergill

    Today, beside the everlasting sea,
    Whose waves are creeping up the level sand
    And gently breaking on the pebbled strand,
    How great a bliss existence seems to be!
    There is no cloud in all the sky above;
    The deep blue sea, with white sails overspread,
    Reflects the glowing sunlight overhead,
    As if responding to its smiles of love.
    All things are bright and beautiful around,
    And happy children, in their joyous play,
    Are adding music to this glorious day,
    Their sunny hair with wreaths of wild flowers crowned.
    The earth, the sea, the sky, with grateful voice
    Are praising God and bidding man rejoice.

  20. In July

    by Edward Dowden

    Why do I make no poems? Good my friend
    Now is there silence through the summer woods,
    In whose green depths and lawny solitudes
    The light is dreaming; voicings clear ascend
    Now from no hollow where glad rivulets wend,
    But murmurings low of inarticulate moods,
    Softer than stir of unfledged cushat broods,
    Breathe, till o'erdrowsed the heavy flower-heads bend.
    Now sleep the crystal and heart-charmèd waves
    Round white, sunstricken rocks the noontide long,
    Or mid the coolness of dim lighted caves
    Sway in a trance of vague deliciousness;
    And,—I am too deep in joy's excess
    For the imperfect impulse of a song.