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Summer Poems

Table of Contents

  1. Summer by John Clare
  2. Summer Evening by John Clare
  3. A Summer's Night by Laurence Dunbar
  4. Summer Images by John Clare
  5. A Summer Night by Elizabeth Stoddard
  6. Rain in Summer by William Stanley Braithwaite
  7. Summer Wind by William Cullen Bryant
  8. Midsummer by William Cullen Bryant
  9. Summer by James Russell Lowell
  10. A Summer Longing by George Arnold
  11. A Summer Day by George Cooper
  12. A something in a summer's day by Emily Dickinson
  13. As imperceptibly as grief by Emily Dickinson
  14. I know a place where summer strives by Emily Dickinson
  15. Nature's Changes by Emily Dickinson
  16. Summer's Armies by Emily Dickinson
  17. The bee is not afraid of me by Emily Dickinson
  18. Summer's Obsequies by Emily Dickinson
  19. Aftermath by Emily Dickinson
  20. The Summer Shower by Thomas Buchanan Read
  21. A Remembrance by Bliss Carman
  22. Midsummer in the Catskills by John Burroughs
  23. The Cicada in the Firs by Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts
  24. Spring and Summer by Kate Slaughter McKinney
  25. Summer is Coming by Dora
  26. Summer by Ellen P. Allerton
  27. Summer by Christina Rossetti
  28. The Summer's Tale Is Told by Ellen P. Allerton
  29. An Evening's Stroll by Ed Blair
  30. Summer is O'er by Ed Blair
  31. Bed in Summer by Robert Louis Stevenson
  32. Summer and You by Ruby Archer
  33. Summer Sun by Robert Louis Stevenson
  34. The End of Summer by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
  35. Summer Glory by Annette Wynne
  36. Summer Rain by Edmund Clarence Stedman
  37. Early Summer by Ellwood Roberts
  38. The Summer's Message by Annie Armstrong

Poems About Summer

  1. Summer

    by John Clare

    Come we to the summer, to the summer we will come,
    For the woods are full of bluebells and the hedges full of bloom,
    And the crow is on the oak a-building of her nest,
    And love is burning diamonds in my true lover's breast;
    She sits beneath the whitethorn a-plaiting of her hair,
    And I will to my true lover with a fond request repair;
    I will look upon her face, I will in her beauty rest,
    And lay my aching weariness upon her lovely breast.

    The clock-a-clay is creeping on the open bloom of May,
    The merry bee is trampling the pinky threads all day,
    And the chaffinch it is brooding on its grey mossy nest
    In the whitethorn bush where I will lean upon my lover's breast;
    I'll lean upon her breast and I'll whisper in her ear
    That I cannot get a wink o'sleep for thinking of my dear;
    I hunger at my meat and I daily fade away
    Like the hedge rose that is broken in the heat of the day.

  2. Summer Evening

    by John Clare

    The frog half fearful jumps across the path,
    And little mouse that leaves its hole at eve
    Nimbles with timid dread beneath the swath;
    My rustling steps awhile their joys deceive,
    Till past, and then the cricket sings more strong,
    And grasshoppers in merry moods still wear
    The short night weary with their fretting song.
    Up from behind the molehill jumps the hare,
    Cheat of his chosen bed, and from the bank
    The yellowhammer flutters in short fears
    From off its nest hid in the grasses rank,
    And drops again when no more noise it hears.
    Thus nature's human link and endless thrall,
    Proud man, still seems the enemy of all.

  3. A Summer's Night

    by Paul Laurence Dunbar

    The night is dewy as a maiden's mouth,
    The skies are bright as are a maiden's eyes,
    Soft as a maiden's breath the wind that flies
    Up from the perfumed bosom of the South.

    Like sentinels, the pines stand in the park;
    And hither hastening, like rakes that roam,
    With lamps to light their wayward footsteps home,
    The fireflies come stagg'ring down the dark.

  4. Summer Images

    by John Clare

    Now swarthy Summer, by rude health embrowned,
    Precedence takes of rosy fingered Spring;
    And laughing Joy, with wild flowers prank'd, and crown'd,
    A wild and giddy thing,
    And Health robust, from every care unbound,
    Come on the zephyr's wing,
    And cheer the toiling clown.

    Happy as holiday-enjoying face,
    Loud tongued, and "merry as a marriage bell,"
    Thy lightsome step sheds joy in every place;
    And where the troubled dwell,
    Thy witching charms wean them of half their cares;
    And from thy sunny spell,
    They greet joy unawares.

    Then with thy sultry locks all loose and rude,
    And mantle laced with gems of garish light,
    Come as of wont; for I would fain intrude,
    And in the world's despite,
    Share the rude wealth that thy own heart beguiles;
    If haply so I might
    Win pleasure from thy smiles.

    Me not the noise of brawling pleasure cheers,
    In nightly revels or in city streets;
    But joys which soothe, and not distract the ears,
    That one at leisure meets
    In the green woods, and meadows summer-shorn,
    Or fields, where bee-fly greets
    The ear with mellow horn.

    The green-swathed grasshopper, on treble pipe,
    Sings there, and dances, in mad-hearted pranks;
    There bees go courting every flower that's ripe,
    On baulks and sunny banks;
    And droning dragon-fly, on rude bassoon,
    Attempts to give God thanks
    In no discordant tune.

    The speckled thrush, by self-delight embued,
    There sings unto himself for joy's amends,
    And drinks the honey dew of solitude.
    There Happiness attends
    With inbred Joy until the heart o'erflow,
    Of which the world's rude friends,
    Nought heeding, nothing know.

    There the gay river, laughing as it goes,
    Plashes with easy wave its flaggy sides,
    And to the calm of heart, in calmness shows
    What pleasure there abides,
    To trace its sedgy banks, from trouble free:
    Spots Solitude provides
    To muse, and happy be.

    There ruminating 'neath some pleasant bush,
    On sweet silk grass I stretch me at mine ease,
    Where I can pillow on the yielding rush;
    And, acting as I please,
    Drop into pleasant dreams; or musing lie,
    Mark the wind-shaken trees,
    And cloud-betravelled sky.

    There think me how some barter joy for care,
    And waste life's summer-health in riot rude,
    Of nature, nor of nature's sweets aware.
    When passions vain intrude,
    These, by calm musings, softened are and still;
    And the heart's better mood
    Feels sick of doing ill.

    There I can live, and at my leisure seek
    Joys far from cold restraints--not fearing pride--
    Free as the winds, that breathe upon my cheek
    Rude health, so long denied.
    Here poor Integrity can sit at ease,
    And list self-satisfied
    The song of honey-bees.

    The green lane now I traverse, where it goes
    Nought guessing, till some sudden turn espies
    Rude batter'd finger post, that stooping shows
    Where the snug mystery lies;
    And then a mossy spire, with ivy crown,
    Cheers up the short surprise,
    And shows a peeping town.

    I see the wild flowers, in their summer morn
    Of beauty, feeding on joy's luscious hours;
    The gay convolvulus, wreathing round the thorn,
    Agape for honey showers;
    And slender kingcup, burnished with the dew
    Of morning's early hours,
    Like gold yminted new.

    And mark by rustic bridge, o'er shallow stream,
    Cow-tending boy, to toil unreconciled,
    Absorbed as in some vagrant summer dream;
    Who now, in gestures wild,
    Starts dancing to his shadow on the wall,
    Feeling self-gratified,
    Nor fearing human thrall.

    Or thread the sunny valley laced with streams,
    Or forests rude, and the o'ershadow'd brims
    Of simple ponds, where idle shepherd dreams,
    Stretching his listless limbs;
    Or trace hay-scented meadows, smooth and long,
    Where joy's wild impulse swims
    In one continued song.

    I love at early morn, from new mown swath,
    To see the startled frog his route pursue;
    To mark while, leaping o'er the dripping path,
    His bright sides scatter dew,
    The early lark that from its bustle flies,
    To hail his matin new;
    And watch him to the skies.

    To note on hedgerow baulks, in moisture sprent,
    The jetty snail creep from the mossy thorn,
    With earnest heed, and tremulous intent,
    Frail brother of the morn,
    That from the tiny bent's dew-misted leaves
    Withdraws his timid horn,
    And fearful vision weaves.

    Or swallow heed on smoke-tanned chimney top,
    Wont to be first unsealing Morning's eye,
    Ere yet the bee hath gleaned one wayward drop
    Of honey on his thigh;
    To see him seek morn's airy couch to sing,
    Until the golden sky
    Bepaint his russet wing.

    Or sauntering boy by tanning corn to spy,
    With clapping noise to startle birds away,
    And hear him bawl to every passer by
    To know the hour of day;
    While the uncradled breezes, fresh and strong,
    With waking blossoms play,
    And breathe Æolian song.

    I love the south-west wind, or low or loud,
    And not the less when sudden drops of rain
    Moisten my glowing cheek from ebon cloud,
    Threatening soft showers again,
    That over lands new ploughed and meadow grounds,
    Summer's sweet breath unchain,
    And wake harmonious sounds.

    Rich music breathes in Summer's every sound;
    And in her harmony of varied greens,
    Woods, meadows, hedge-rows, corn-fields, all around
    Much beauty intervenes,
    Filling with harmony the ear and eye;
    While o'er the mingling scenes
    Far spreads the laughing sky.

    See, how the wind-enamoured aspen leaves
    Turn up their silver lining to the sun!
    And hark! the rustling noise, that oft deceives,
    And makes the sheep-boy run:
    The sound so mimics fast-approaching showers,
    He thinks the rain's begun,
    And hastes to sheltering bowers.

    But now the evening curdles dank and grey,
    Changing her watchet hue for sombre weed;
    And moping owls, to close the lids of day,
    On drowsy wing proceed;
    While chickering crickets, tremulous and long,
    Light's farewell inly heed,
    And give it parting song.

    The pranking bat its flighty circlet makes;
    The glow-worm burnishes its lamp anew;
    O'er meadows dew-besprent, the beetle wakes
    Inquiries ever new,
    Teazing each passing ear with murmurs vain,
    As wanting to pursue
    His homeward path again.

    Hark! 'tis the melody of distant bells
    That on the wind with pleasing hum rebounds
    By fitful starts, then musically swells
    O'er the dim stilly grounds;
    While on the meadow-bridge the pausing boy
    Listens the mellow sounds,
    And hums in vacant joy.

    Now homeward-bound, the hedger bundles round
    His evening faggot, and with every stride
    His leathern doublet leaves a rustling sound,
    Till silly sheep beside
    His path start tremulous, and once again
    Look back dissatisfied,
    And scour the dewy plain.

    How sweet the soothing calmness that distills
    O'er the heart's every sense its opiate dews,
    In meek-eyed moods and ever balmy trills!
    That softens and subdues,
    With gentle Quiet's bland and sober train,
    Which dreamy eve renews
    In many a mellow strain!

    I love to walk the fields, they are to me
    A legacy no evil can destroy;
    They, like a spell, set every rapture free
    That cheer'd me when a boy.
    Play--pastime--all Time's blotting pen conceal'd,
    Comes like a new-born joy,
    To greet me in the field.

    For Nature's objects ever harmonize
    With emulous Taste, that vulgar deed annoys;
    Which loves in pensive moods to sympathize,
    And meet vibrating joys
    Pastimes, the Muse employs,
    Vain and obtrusive themes.

  5. A Summer Night

    by Elizabeth Stoddard

    I feel the breath of the summer night,
    Aromatic fire:
    The trees, the vines, the flowers are astir
    With tender desire.

    The white moths flutter about the lamp,
    Enamoured with light;
    And a thousand creatures softly sing
    A song to the night!

    But I am alone, and how can I sing
    Praises to thee?
    Come, Night! unveil the beautiful soul
    That waiteth for me.

  6. Rain in Summer

    by William Stanley Braithwaite

    The afternoon grew darkening from the west;
    A hush fell on the air, and in the trees;
    The huddled birds pronounced their prophecies;
    The flowers bent their heads as if to rest
    Now that the tide of the sun's golden seas
    In one long wave swept off the earth's wide breast.
    Up sprung deft shadowy patterns by degrees,
    And nature's face her soul made manifest.

    Lo, in the instant, slant, like a hanging string
    Of silver glass beads, pendant from the clouds
    The rain descends! Leaves sing, and wavering
    The tall lithe grasses dance in separate crowds.
    I stand and let my soul commune, it knows
    The mystery that calls it from its close.

  7. Summer Wind

    by William Cullen Bryant

    It is a sultry day; the sun has drank
    The dew that lay upon the morning grass;
    There is no rustling in the lofty elm
    That canopies my dwelling, and its shade
    Scarce cools me. All is silent, save the faint
    And interrupted murmur of the bee,
    Settling on the sick flowers, and then again
    Instantly on the wing. The plants around
    Feel the too potent fervours: the tall maize
    Rolls up its long green leaves; the clover droops
    Its tender foliage, and declines its blooms.

    But far in the fierce sunshine tower the hills,
    With all their growth of woods, silent and stern,
    As if the scorching heat and dazzling light
    Were but an element they loved. Bright clouds,
    Motionless pillars of the brazen heaven,—
    Their bases on the mountains—their white tops
    Shining in the far ether—fire the air
    With a reflected radiance, and make turn
    The gazer's eye away. For me, I lie
    Languidly in the shade, where the thick turf,
    Yet virgin from the kisses of the sun,
    Retains some freshness, and I woo the wind
    That still delays its coming. Why so slow,
    Gentle and voluble spirit of the air?
    Oh, come and breathe upon the fainting earth
    Coolness and life. Is it that in his caves
    He hears me? See, on yonder woody ridge,
    The pine is bending his proud top, and now
    Among the nearer groves, chestnut and oak
    Are tossing their green boughs about. He comes!
    Lo, where the grassy meadow runs in waves!
    The deep distressful silence of the scene
    Breaks up with mingling of unnumbered sounds
    And universal motion. He is come,
    Shaking a shower of blossoms from the shrubs,
    And bearing on their fragrance; and he brings
    Music of birds, and rustling of young boughs,
    And sound of swaying branches, and the voice
    Of distant waterfalls. All the green herbs
    Are stirring in his breath; a thousand flowers,
    By the road-side and the borders of the brook,
    Nod gaily to each other; glossy leaves
    Are twinkling in the sun, as if the dew
    Were on them yet, and silver waters break
    Into small waves and sparkle as he comes.

  8. Midsummer

    by William Cullen Bryant

    A power is on the earth and in the air,
    From which the vital spirit shrinks afraid,
    And shelters him, in nooks of deepest shade,
    From the hot steam and from the fiery glare.
    Look forth upon the earth—her thousand plants
    Are smitten, even the dark sun-loving maize
    Faints in the field beneath the torrid blaze;
    The herd beside the shaded fountain pants;
    For life is driven from all the landscape brown;
    The bird has sought his tree, the snake his den,
    The trout floats dead in the hot stream, and men
    Drop by the sun-stroke in the populous town;
    As if the Day of Fire had dawned and Sent
    Its deadly breath into the firmament.

  9. Summer

    by James Russell Lowell. Excerpt from The Vision of Sir Launfal.

    Now is the high tide of the year,
    And whatever of life hath ebbed away
    Comes flooding back with a ripply cheer,
    Into every bare inlet and creek and bay.
    We may shut our eyes, but we can not help knowing
    That skies are clear and grass is growing;
    The breeze comes whispering in our ear,
    That dandelions are blossoming near,
    That maize has sprouted, that streams are flowing,
    That the river is bluer than the sky,
    That the robin is plastering his house hard by;
    And if the breeze kept the good news back
    For other couriers we should not lack;
    We could guess it all by yon heifer's lowing,—
    And hark! how clear bold chanticleer,
    Warmed with the new wine of the year,
    Tells all in his lusty crowing.

  10. A Summer Longing

    by George Arnold

    I must away to the wooded hills and vales,
    Where broad, slow streams flow cool and silently
    And idle barges flap their listless sails.
    For me the summer sunset glows and pales,
    And green fields wait for me.

    I long for shadowy founts, where the birds
    Twitter and chirp at noon from every tree;
    I long for blossomed leaves and lowing herds;
    And Nature's voices say in mystic words,
    "The green fields wait for thee."

    I dream of uplands, where the primrose shines
    And waves her yellow lamps above the lea;
    Of tangled copses, swung with trailing vines;
    Of open vistas, skirted with tall pines,
    Where green fields wait for me.

    I think of long, sweet afternoons, when I
    May lie and listen to the distant sea,
    Or hear the breezes in the reeds that sigh,
    Or insect voices chirping shrill and dry,
    In fields that wait for me.

    These dreams of summer come to bid me find
    The forest's shade, the wild bird's melody,
    While summer's rosy wreaths for me are twined,
    While summer's fragrance lingers on the wind,
    And green fields wait for me.

  11. A Summer Day

    by George Cooper

    This is the way the morning dawns:
    Rosy tints on flowers and trees,
    Winds that wake the birds and bees,
    Dewdrops on the fields and lawns—
    This is the way the morning dawns.

    This is the way the sun comes up:
    Gold on brook and glossy leaves,
    Mist that melts above the sheaves,
    Vine, and rose, and buttercup—
    This is the way the sun comes up.

    This is the way the river flows:
    Here a whirl, and there a dance;
    Slowly now, then, like a lance,
    Swiftly to the sea it goes—
    This is the way the river flows.

    This is the way the rain comes down:
    Tinkle, tinkle, drop by drop,
    Over roof and chimney top;
    Boughs that bend, and skies that frown—
    This is the way the rain comes down.

    This is the way the birdie sings:
    "Baby birdies in the nest,
    You I surely love the best;
    Over you I fold my wings"—
    This is the way the birdie sings.

    This is the way the daylight dies:
    Cows are lowing in the lane,
    Fireflies wink on hill and plain;
    Yellow, red, and purple skies—
    This is the way the daylight dies.

  12. A something in a summer's day

    by Emily Dickinson

    A something in a summer's day,
    As slow her flambeaux burn away,
    Which solemnizes me.

    A something in a summer's noon, —
    An azure depth, a wordless tune,
    Transcending ecstasy.

    And still within a summer's night
    A something so transporting bright,
    I clap my hands to see;

    Then veil my too inspecting face,
    Lest such a subtle, shimmering grace
    Flutter too far for me.

    The wizard-fingers never rest,
    The purple brook within the breast
    Still chafes its narrow bed;

    Still rears the East her amber flag,
    Guides still the sun along the crag
    His caravan of red,

    Like flowers that heard the tale of dews,
    But never deemed the dripping prize
    Awaited their low brows;

    Or bees, that thought the summer's name
    Some rumor of delirium
    No summer could for them;

    Or Arctic creature, dimly stirred
    By tropic hint, — some travelled bird
    Imported to the wood;

    Or wind's bright signal to the ear,
    Making that homely and severe,
    Contented, known, before

    The heaven unexpected came,
    To lives that thought their worshipping
    A too presumptuous psalm.

  13. As imperceptibly as grief

    by Emily Dickinson

    As imperceptibly as grief
    The summer lapsed away, —
    Too imperceptible, at last,
    To seem like perfidy.

    A quietness distilled,
    As twilight long begun,
    Or Nature, spending with herself
    Sequestered afternoon.

    The dusk drew earlier in,
    The morning foreign shone, —
    A courteous, yet harrowing grace,
    As guest who would be gone.

    And thus, without a wing,
    Or service of a keel,
    Our summer made her light escape
    Into the beautiful.

  14. I know a place where summer strives

    by Emily Dickinson

    I know a place where summer strives
    With such a practised frost,
    She each year leads her daisies back,
    Recording briefly, "Lost."

    But when the south wind stirs the pools
    And struggles in the lanes,
    Her heart misgives her for her vow,
    And she pours soft refrains

    Into the lap of adamant,
    And spices, and the dew,
    That stiffens quietly to quartz,
    Upon her amber shoe.

  15. Nature's Changes

    by Emily Dickinson

    The springtime's pallid landscape
    Will glow like bright bouquet,
    Though drifted deep in parian
    The village lies to-day.

    The lilacs, bending many a year,
    With purple load will hang;
    The bees will not forget the tune
    Their old forefathers sang.

    The rose will redden in the bog,
    The aster on the hill
    Her everlasting fashion set,
    And covenant gentians frill,

    Till summer folds her miracle
    As women do their gown,
    Or priests adjust the symbols
    When sacrament is done.

  16. Summer's Armies

    by Emily Dickinson

    Some rainbow coming from the fair!
    Some vision of the world Cashmere
    I confidently see!
    Or else a peacock's purple train,
    Feather by feather, on the plain
    Fritters itself away!

    The dreamy butterflies bestir,
    Lethargic pools resume the whir
    Of last year's sundered tune.
    From some old fortress on the sun
    Baronial bees march, one by one,
    In murmuring platoon!

    The robins stand as thick to-day
    As flakes of snow stood yesterday,
    On fence and roof and twig.
    The orchis binds her feather on
    For her old lover, Don the Sun,
    Revisiting the bog!

    Without commander, countless, still,
    The regiment of wood and hill
    In bright detachment stand.
    Behold! Whose multitudes are these?
    The children of whose turbaned seas,
    Or what Circassian land?

  17. The bee is not afraid of me

    by Emily Dickinson

    The bee is not afraid of me,
    I know the butterfly;
    The pretty people in the woods
    Receive me cordially.

    The brooks laugh louder when I come,
    The breezes madder play.
    Wherefore, mine eyes, thy silver mists?
    Wherefore, O summer's day?

  18. Summer's Obsequies

    by Emily Dickinson

    The gentian weaves her fringes,
    The maple's loom is red.
    My departing blossoms
    Obviate parade.

    A brief, but patient illness,
    An hour to prepare;
    And one, below this morning,
    Is where the angels are.

    It was a short procession, —
    The bobolink was there,
    An aged bee addressed us,
    And then we knelt in prayer.

    We trust that she was willing, —
    We ask that we may be.
    Summer, sister, seraph,
    Let us go with thee!

    In the name of the bee
    And of the butterfly
    And of the breeze, amen!

  19. Aftermath

    by Emily Dickinson

    The murmuring of bees has ceased;
    But murmuring of some
    Posterior, prophetic,
    Has simultaneous come, —

    The lower metres of the year,
    When nature's laugh is done, —
    The Revelations of the book
    Whose Genesis is June.

  20. The Summer Shower

    Thomas Buchanan Read

    Before the stout harvesters falleth the grain,
    As when the strong stormwind is reaping the plain,
    And loiters the boy in the briery lane;
    But yonder aslant comes the silvery rain,
    Like a long line of spears brightly burnished and tall.

    Adown the white highway like cavalry fleet,
    It dashes the dust with its numberless feet.
    Like a murmurless school, in their leafy retreat,
    The wild birds sit listening the drops round them beat;
    And the boy crouches close to the blackberry wall.

    The swallows alone take the storm on the wing,
    And, taunting the tree-sheltered laborers, sing.
    Like pebbles the rain breaks the face of the spring,
    While a bubble darts up from each widening ring;
    And the boy in dismay hears the loud shower fall.

    But soon are the harvesters tossing their sheaves;
    The robin darts out from his bower of leaves;
    The wren peereth forth from the moss-covered eaves;
    And the rain-spattered urchin now gladly perceives
    That the beautiful bow bendeth over them all.

  21. A Remembrance

    by Bliss Carman

    Here in lovely New England
    When summer is come, a sea-turn
    Flutters a page of remembrance
    In the volume of long ago.

    Soft is the wind over Grand Pré,
    Stirring the heads of the grasses,
    Sweet is the breath of the orchards
    White with their apple-blow.

    There at their infinite business
    Of measuring time forever,
    Murmuring songs of the sea,
    The great tides come and go.

    Over the dikes and the uplands
    Wander the great cloud shadows,
    Strange as the passing of sorrow,
    Beautiful, solemn, and slow.

    For, spreading her old enchantment
    Of tender ineffable wonder,
    Summer is there in the Northland!
    How should my heart not know?

  22. Midsummer in the Catskills

    by John Burroughs

    The strident hum of sickle-bar,
    Like giant insect heard afar,
    Is on the air again;
    I see the mower where he rides
    Above the level grassy tides
    That flood the meadow plain.

    The barns are fragrant with new hay, Through open doors the swallows play On wayward, glancing wing;
    The bobolinks are on the oats,
    And gorging stills the jocund throats
    That made the meadows ring.

    The cradlers twain, with right good-will,
    Leave golden lines across the hill
    Beneath the midday sun.
    The cattle dream 'neath leafy tent,
    Or chew the cud of sweet content
    Knee-deep in pond or run.

    July is on her burning throne,
    And binds the land with torrid zone,
    That hastes the ripening grain;
    While sleepers swelter in the night,
    The lusty corn is gaining might
    And darkening on the plain.

    The butterflies sip nectar sweet
    Where gummy milkweeds offer treat
    Or catnip bids them stay.
    On banded wing grasshoppers poise,
    With hovering flight and shuffling noise,
    Above the dusty way.

    The thistle-bird, midsummer's pet,
    In billowy flight on wings of jet,
    Is circling near his mate.
    The silent waxwing's pointed crest
    Is seen above her orchard nest,
    Where cherries linger late.

    The dome of day o'erbrims with sound
    From humming wings on errands bound
    Above the sleeping fields;
    The linden's bloom faint scents the breeze,
    And, sole and blessed 'mid forest trees,
    A honeyed harvest yields.

    Poisèd and full is summer's tide,
    Brimming all the horizon wide,
    In varied verdure dressed;
    Its viewless currents surge and beat
    In airy billows at my feet
    Here on the mountain's crest.

    Through pearly depths I see the farms,
    Where sweating forms and bronzèd arms
    Reap in the land's increase;
    In ripe repose the forests stand,
    And veilèd heights on every hand
    Swim in a sea of peace.

  23. The Cicada in the Firs

    by Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts

    Charm of the vibrant, white September sun—
    How tower the firs to take it, tranced and still!
    Their scant ranks crown the pale, round pasture-hill,
    And watch, far down, the austere waters run
    Their circuit thro' the serious marshes dun.
    No bird-call stirs the blue; but strangely thrill
    The blunt faced, brown cicada's wing-notes shrill,
    A web of silver o'er the silence spun.

    O zithern-winged musician, whence it came
    I wonder, this insistent song of thine!
    Did once the highest string of Summer's lyre,
    Snapt on some tense chord slender as a flame,
    Take form again in these vibrations fine
    That o'er the tranquil spheres of noon aspire?

  24. Spring and Summer

    by Kate Slaughter McKinney

    I heard a footstep on the hill,
    The little brook began to trill,
    I looked—a sweet and childlike face,
    Reflected like a blooming vase,
    Was smiling from the water clear,
    With buttercups behind her ear.

    A flock of swallows hove in sight,
    On came the summer clad in white,
    With sunshine falling from her hair
    Upon her shoulders white and bare,
    And pressing through the tangled grass,
    A daisy rose to watch her pass.

  25. Summer is Coming

    by Dora

    "Summer is coming!" the soft breezes whisper;
    "Summer is coming!" the glad birdies sing.
    Summer is coming—I hear her quick footsteps;
    Take your last look at the beautiful Spring.

    Lightly she steps from her throne in the woodlands:
    "Summer is coming, and I cannot stay;
    Two of my children have crept from my bosom:
    April has left me but lingering May.

    "What tho' bright Summer is crownèd with roses.
    Deep in the forest Arbutus doth hide;
    I am the herald of all the rejoicing;
    Why must June always disown me?" she cried.

    Down in the meadow she stoops to the daisies,
    Plucks the first bloom from the apple-tree's bough:
    "Autumn will rob me of all the sweet apples;
    I will take one from her store of them now."

    Summer is coming! I hear the glad echo;
    Clearly it rings o'er the mountain and plain.
    Sorrowful Spring leaves the beautiful woodlands,
    Bright, happy Summer begins her sweet reign.

  26. Summer

    by Ellen P. Allerton

    The trailing skirts of the summer
    Have swept away to the south—
    A blast came down from the northland
    And kissed her on the mouth.

    She fled from the kiss that chilled her,
    From the touch of a frosty hand;
    But the work of her busy fingers
    Is strewn all over the land.

    Wrought she well in the sunshine.
    And wrought she well in the rain;
    For the corn hangs thick and heavy,
    And the garners are filled with grain.

    Busy was she in the orchards—
    The rich fruit swings o'erhead,
    While the low boughs, overladen,
    Lie prone on the paths we tread.

    Peaches with coats of velvet;
    Apples in satin fine;
    Purple grapes by the river,
    Where the great coils twist and twine.

    For these do we bless the summer,
    So fervid, and strong, and sweet;
    Autumn but touches and ripens
    As he follows her flying feet.

    Then sing, oh! sing her praises,
    Ye singers with throats in tune;
    While the fruit and corn hang heavy,
    All under the harvest moon.

  27. Summer

    by Christina Rossetti

    Winter is cold-hearted,
    Spring is yea and nay,
    Autumn is a weathercock
    Blown every way:
    Summer days for me
    When every leaf is on its tree;

    When Robin's not a beggar,
    And Jenny Wren's a bride,
    And larks hang singing, singing, singing,
    Over the wheat-fields wide,
    And anchored lilies ride,
    And the pendulum spider
    Swings from side to side,

    And blue-black beetles transact business,
    And gnats fly in a host,
    And furry caterpillars hasten
    That no time be lost,
    And moths grow fat and thrive,
    And ladybirds arrive.

    Before green apples blush,
    Before green nuts embrown,
    Why, one day in the country
    Is worth a month in town;
    Is worth a day and a year
    Of the dusty, musty, lag-last fashion
    That days drone elsewhere.

  28. The Summer's Tale Is Told

    by Ellen P. Allerton

    The twilight ends; the last faint crimson stain
    Has faded from the west; the deep blue sky,
    Deeper and darker grows, and once again
    God's lamps are lighted in the dome on high.
    Above yon distant swell, where trailing clouds
    Hung low and black at noon,
    Now, round and red, from out their torn white shrouds,
    Steps forth the harvest moon.

    Thus she came forth last night, thus will she come
    The next night and the next. Oh, magic time!
    The full moon wanes not at the harvest home,
    And night's grand poem flows in even rhyme.
    Silent the thresher stands, where hills of gold,
    Heaped high on earth's shorn breast,
    Loom in the moonlight. Summer's tale is told;
    The sickle lies in rest.

    The night has wondrous voices. At my door
    I sit and listen to its many tones.
    The wind comes through the trees with muffled roar,
    And round the moonlit gables sadly moans.
    The raccoon scouts among the stricken corn
    With disappointed cry;
    A dismal owl sends out his note forlorn;
    One whippowil sings nigh.

    And there is other music. All the grass
    Is peopled with a crowd of tiny things;
    We see them not, yet crush them as we pass.
    These sing all night, and clap their puny wings;
    Beneath my very feet calls clear and strong
    A cricket, slyly hid,
    While at my elbow—well I know his song—
    Rattles a katydid.

    Poor, puny things! your gala nears its end.
    A subtle change steals over vale and hill;
    There comes a hint of autumn in the wind
    That moans about the roof; the nights are chill;
    Short and yet shorter grows each passing day;—
    The year is waxing old.
    The frost waits in the north, not far away—
    The summer's tale is told.

  29. An Evening's Stroll

    by Ed Blair

    When July's sun has spent her fierceness on
    The sweltering earth; I love to ramble then
    Along the narrow banks of dear Elm Creek
    And be for one short hour a boy again.
    To make the rocks skip o'er the waters smooth
    And see the frogs plunge from the water's edge,
    And hear the gentle cooing of the dove
    Among the elms and from the distant hedge.

    Oh, boyhood days ne'er come so near to me
    As in these strolls in Summer eve's twilight;
    I view again the scenes I love so well
    And watch the gentle coming of the night.

  30. Summer Is O'er

    by Ed Blair

    Old Winter's nigh—the landscape tells me so,
    The trees are bare, their dead leaves piled below;
    Between bare banks the chilly waters flow.
    The Summer's o'er.

    Between the cold gray rifts the moon peeps through
    While on her nightly round, as if to view
    Man's work complete and that still yet to do.
    The Summer's o'er.

    Each cow and horse securely in its stall
    In barn and shed safe from the Winter's squall,
    The coal bin full—let welcome snowflakes fall—
    The Summer's o'er.

  31. Bed in Summer

    by Robert Louis Stevenson

    In winter I get up at night
    And dress by yellow candle-light.
    In summer, quite the other way,
    I have to go to bed by day.

    I have to go to bed and see The birds still hopping on the tree,
    Or hear the grown-up people's feet
    Still going past me in the street.

    And does it not seem hard to you,
    When all the sky is clear and blue,
    And I should like so much to play,
    To have to go to bed by day?

  32. Summer and You

    by Ruby Archer

    Summer is dead—and yet, my own,
    It lives in you.
    You are my flowers, and sunny hours,
    And skies all blue.

    Rose-laden breeze among the trees,
    Your whispered words.
    You are my brooks, and forest nooks,
    And singing birds.

  33. Summer Sun

    by Robert Louis Stevenson

    Great is the sun, and wide he goes
    Through empty heaven without repose;
    And in the blue and glowing days
    More thick than rain he showers his rays.

    Though closer still the blinds we pull
    To keep the shady parlour cool,
    Yet he will find a chink or two
    To slip his golden fingers through.

    The dusty attic spider-clad
    He, through the keyhole, maketh glad;
    And through the broken edge of tiles
    Into the laddered hay-loft smiles.

    Meantime his golden face around
    He bares to all the garden ground,
    And sheds a warm and glittering look
    Among the ivy's inmost nook.

    Above the hills, along the blue,
    Round the bright air with footing true,
    To please the child, to paint the rose,
    The gardener of the World, he goes.

  34. The End of the Summer

    by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

    The birds laugh loud and long together
    When Fashion's followers speed away
    At the first cool breath of autumn weather.
    Why, this is the time, cry the birds, to stay!
    When the deep calm sea and the deep sky over
    Both look their passion through sun-kissed space,
    As a blue-eyed maid and her blue-eyed lover
    Might each gaze into the other's face.

    Oh! this is the time when careful spying
    Discovers the secrets Nature knows.
    You find when the butterflies plan for flying
    (Before the thrush or the blackbird goes),
    You see some day by the water's edges
    A brilliant border of red and black;
    And then off over the hills and hedges
    It flutters away on the summer's track.

    The shy little sumacs, in lonely places,
    Bowed all summer with dust and heat,
    Like clean-clad children with rain-washed faces,
    Are dressed in scarlet from head to feet.
    And never a flower had the boastful summer,
    In all the blossoms that decked her sod,
    So royal hued as that later comer
    The purple chum of the goldenrod.

    Some chill grey dawn you note with grieving
    That the King of Autumn is on his way.
    You see, with a sorrowful, slow believing,
    How the wanton woods have gone astray,
    They wear the stain of bold caresses,
    Of riotous revels with old King Frost;
    They dazzle all eyes with their gorgeous dresses,
    Nor care that their green young leaves are lost.

    A wet wind blows from the East one morning,
    The wood's gay garments looked draggled out.
    You hear a sound, and your heart takes warning―
    The birds are planning their winter route.
    They wheel and settle and scold and wrangle,
    Their tempers are ruffled, their voices loud;
    Then whirr and away in a feathered tangle,
    To fade in the south like a passing cloud.

    Envoi A songless wood stripped bare of glory―
    A sodden moor that is black and brown;
    The year has finished its last love-story:
    Oh! let us away to the gay bright town.

  35. Summer Glory

    by Annette Wynne

    Is it true
    That you
    Are indeed
    The shriveled seed
    In spring I buried underground
    Not a bit of green around?

    Now you are
    Full of light
    As a star;
    Out of night
    Came this glory—grew to this
    Little piece of perfect bliss;
    O the joy to know
    I helped you grow;
    What mighty one would not be
    Small helper in such glorious ministry!

  36. Summer Rain

    by Edmund Clarence Stedman

    Yestermorn the air was dry
    As the winds of Araby,
    While the sun, with pitiless heat,
    Glared upon the glaring street,
    And the meadow fountains sealed,
    Till the people everywhere,
    And the cattle in the field,
    And the birds in middle air,
    And the thirsty little flowers,
    Sent to heaven a fainting prayer
    For the blessed summer showers.

    Not in vain the prayer was said;
    For at sunset, overhead,
    Sailing from the gorgeous West,
    Came the pioneers, abreast,
    Of a wondrous argosy,—
    The Armada of the sky!
    Far along I saw them sail,
    Wafted by an upper gale;
    Saw them, on their lustrous route,
    Fling a thousand banners out:
    Yellow, violet, crimson, blue,
    Orange, sapphire,—every hue
    That the gates of Heaven put on,
    To the sainted eyes of John,
    In that hallowed Patmos isle
    Their skyey pennons wore; and while
    I drank the glory of the sight
    Sunset faded into night.

    Then diverging, far and wide,
    To the dim horizon's side,
    Silently and swiftly there,
    Every galleon of the air,
    Manned by some celestial crew,
    Out its precious cargo threw,
    And the gentle summer rain
    Cooled the fevered Earth again.

    Through the night I heard it fall
    Tenderly and musical;
    And this morning not a sigh
    Of wind uplifts the briony leaves,
    But the ashen-tinted sky
    Still for earthly turmoil grieves,
    While the melody of the rain,
    Dropping on the window-pane,
    On the lilac and the rose,
    Round us all its pleasance throws,
    Till our souls are yielded wholly
    To its constant melancholy,
    And, like the burden of its song,
    Passionate moments glide along.

    Pinks and hyacinths perfume
    All our garden-fronted room;
    Hither, close beside me, Love!
    Do not whisper, do not move.
    Here we two will softly stay,
    Side by side, the livelong day.
    Lean thy head upon my breast:
    Ever shall it give thee rest,
    Ever would I gaze to meet
    Eyes of thine up-glancing, Sweet!
    What enchanted dreams are ours!
    While the murmur of the showers
    Dropping on the tranquil ground,
    Dropping on the leaves and flowers,
    Wraps our yearning souls around
    In the drapery of its sound.

    Still the plenteous streamlets fall:
    Here two hearts are all in all
    To each other; and they beat
    With no evanescent heat,
    But softly, steadily, hour by hour,
    With the calm, melodious power
    Of the gentle summer rain,
    That in Heaven so long hath lain,
    And from out that shoreless sea
    Pours its blessings tenderly.

    Freer yet its currents swell!
    Here are streams that flow as well,
    Rivulets of the constant heart;
    But a little space apart
    Glide they now, and soon shall run,
    Love-united, into one.
    It shall chance, in future days,
    That again the lurid rays
    Of that hidden sun shall shine
    On the floweret and the vine,
    And again the meadow-springs
    Fly away on misty wings:
    But no glare of Fate adverse
    Shall on us achieve its curse,
    Never any baneful gleam
    Waste our clear, perennial stream;
    For its fountains lie below
    That malign and ominous glow,—
    Lie in shadowy grottoes cool,
    Where all kindly spirits rule;
    Calmly ever shall it flow
    Toward the waters of the sea,—
    That serene Eternity!

  37. Early Summer

    by Ellwood Roberts

    Full of joy is early Summer,
    Growth and warmth and golden light;
    Every day is crowned with beauty,
    Full of loveliness the night.
    Dazzling sunshine brings the roses,
    Fills the whole bright world with bloom;
    Day and night rejoice together,
    Banished now are doubt and gloom.

    Skies serene and loving woo us
    To the woods and fields to-day;
    Who would linger long when Nature
    Calls him to her feast away?
    Earth a veritable Eden
    In the glowing sunlight gleams,
    Life a grand and noble epic,
    Viewed from such a standpoint seems.

    Gladness reigns the wide world over,
    Early Summer's golden light
    Fills each bosom with thanksgiving
    For the season's blessings bright.
    Happy harvest days are coming,
    Full of joy, throughout the land;
    Where the fields of grain are waving,
    Full-eared wheat in shocks shall stand.

    Perfect days that pass too quickly,
    One by one they come and go,
    Each in turn reveals rare blessing,
    Beauty passing all below.
    Balmy air and bright green landscape,
    Glowing eve and dewy dawn;
    Sunlight's gold on field and forest—
    We shall grieve when these are gone.

    Joyous time to him that loveth
    Growth and warmth and golden light;
    Day is full of blessed beauty,
    Full of peace the dewy night.
    Early Summer! time of roses,
    All the earth is filled with bloom;
    Every heart in thee rejoices,
    Banished now are doubt and gloom.

  38. The Summer's Message

    by Annie Armstrong

    What is the message the Summer brings?
    The fair new Summer of bud and bloom,
    That sweeps from the south upon airy wings,
    Filling the earth with a sweet perfume;
    Listen! From every tree a voice;
    The birds are singing their song, "Rejoice!"

    Down in the meadow the lilies blow,
    Buttercups wave when the breezes come,
    Over them lazily to and fro
    The brown bee flies with a drowsy hum;
    Murmering on in his slumberous voice
    To the flowers, "The Summer has come, Rejoice!"

    Up in the mountains, half hid from sight,
    The brooklet dances and leaps along;
    Mirrors the glance of the sunbeams bright,
    And breaks for joy into happy song;
    As it flows, it sings in a silvery voice
    To the pebbles, "The Summer has come, Rejoice!"

    Sweet is the message the Summer brings,
    And hearts that were weary with grief and pain
    Grow strong at the sound of her rustling wings,
    And hopes long buried arise again;
    And we join the song with great nature's voice,
    "The beautiful Summer has come, Rejoice!"

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