70 Greatest Poems about Summer

Children playing, family swimming, ladies sunbathing, and lads boating are some of the most common activities during summer in my area. In this hot weather, mostly all the activities are related to the beach and water. And that is why I also love summer, since it brings families together, tightens friendship, and adds delight to the simple lives we had in our province.

These are seventy (70) greatest poems about summer. If you also like this season, these poems are for you.

Keep reading!


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.

John Clare


How sweet, when weary, dropping on a bank,
Turning a look around on things that be!
E’en feather-headed grasses, spindling rank,
A trembling to the breeze one loves to see;
And yellow buttercup, where many a bee
Comes buzzing to its head and bows it down;
And the great dragon-fly with gauzy wings,
In gilded coat of purple, green, or brown,
That on broad leaves of hazel basking clings,
Fond of the sunny day:–and other things
Past counting, please me while thus here I lie.
But still reflective pains are not forgot:
Summer sometime shall bless this spot, when I
Hapt in the cold dark grave, can heed it not.

John Clare


Now sinks the Summer sun into the sea;
Sure never such a sunset shone as this,
That on its golden wing has borne such bliss;
Dear Love to thee and me.

Ah, life was drear and lonely, missing thee,
Though what my loss I did not then divine;
But all is past – the sweet words, thou art mine,
Make bliss for thee and me.

How swells the light breeze o’er the blossoming lea,
Sure never winds swept past so sweet and low,
No lonely, unblest future waiteth now;
Dear Love for thee and me.

Look upward o’er the glowing West, and see,
Surely the star of evening never shone
With such a holy radiance – oh, my own,
Heaven smiles on thee and me.

Marietta Holley


Summer, sweet Summer, many-fingered Summer!
We hold thee very dear, as well we may:
It is the kernel of the year to-day–
All hail to thee! thou art a welcome comer!
If every insect were a fairy drummer,
And I a fifer that could deftly play,
We’d give the old Earth such a roundelay
That she would cast all thought of labour from her.–
Ah! what is this upon my window-pane?
Some sulky, drooping cloud comes pouting up,
Stamping its glittering feet along the plain!–
Well, I will let that idle fancy drop!
Oh, how the spouts are bubbling with the rain!
And all the earth shines like a silver cup!

George MacDonald


Winter is cold-hearted
Spring is yea and nay,
Autumn is a weather-cock
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.

Christina Georgina Rossetti

A Summer Day

White clouds, like thistledown at fault,
That drift through heaven’s azure vault.
The sun beams down; the weedy ground
Vibrates with many an insect sound.
Blackberry-lilies in the noon
Lean to the creek with eyes a-swoon,
Where, in a shallow, silver gleams
Of minnows and a heron dreams
An old road, clouding pale the heat
Behind a slow hoof’s muffled beat:
And there, hill-gazing at the skies,
A pond, within whose languor lies
A twinkle, like an eye that smiles
In thought; that with a dream beguiles
The day: a. dream of clouds that drift,
And arms the willow trees uplift,
Protectingly, as if to hide
The wildbird on its nest that cried.
Now mists that mass thesunset-dyes
Build an Arabia in the skies,
Through which the sun in pomp retires,
Torched to his room with saffron fires;
And ‘thwart his palace door is laid
A crescent sign, a moony blade,
Then glittering in a cloud is sheathed;
And, dripping crimson, fire-wreathed,
A magic scimetar of flame
Is slowly drawn before the same.
The door of Day is closed; its bar
Put up, one bright and golden star;
While, crowding all the corridors
Of Dusk, the shadows, blackamoors
Of darkness, glide; and zephyrs sweep
Mist-gowns of musk through halls of Sleep
Dim odalisques of Night, who wait
Upon their lord who lies in state.

Madison Julius Cawein

Summer And Winter.

It was a bright and cheerful afternoon,
Towards the end of the sunny month of June,
When the north wind congregates in crowds
The floating mountains of the silver clouds
From the horizon – and the stainless sky
Opens beyond them like eternity.
All things rejoiced beneath the sun; the weeds,
The river, and the corn-fields, and the reeds;
The willow leaves that glanced in the light breeze,
And the firm foliage of the larger trees.

It was a winter such as when birds die
In the deep forests; and the fishes lie
Stiffened in the translucent ice, which makes
Even the mud and slime of the warm lakes
A wrinkled clod as hard as brick; and when,
Among their children, comfortable men
Gather about great fires, and yet feel cold:
Alas, then, for the homeless beggar old!

Percy Bysshe Shelley


O come, unpack the heart of care!
Kingcups sun the meadows o’er,
The yellowbugle sudden blows
By the river’s tidal flows,
And the heavens are bare.

Room, room, and open sky,
River or brook or lake hard by,
Buttercups, daisies, grasses, clover,
Bobolinks, meadowlarks – these love I!

Sail, swallows, sail this emerald sea
Waving to the west wind’s breath!
Earth has few other fields like these,
Sweet of sun and tidal breeze,
And the droning bee.

Room, room, and open sky,
River or brook or lake hard by,
Buttercups, daisies, grasses, clover,
Bobolinks, meadowlarks – these love I!

And now the white clouds sail along,
Azure-domed and idle free!
The air is lush with honeyed blooms,
Flashing go the summer’s looms,
List her cheery song:

Room, room, and open sky,
River or brook or lake hard by,
Buttercups, daisies, grasses, clover,
Bobolinks, meadowlarks – these love I!

Theodore Harding Rand



Hang out your loveliest star, O Night! O Night!
Your richest rose, O Dawn!
To greet sweet Summer, her, who, clothed in light,
Leads Earth’s best hours on.
Hark! how the wild birds of the woods
Throat it within the dewy solitudes!
The brook sings low and soft,
The trees make song,
As, from her heaven aloft
Comes blue-eyed Summer like a girl along.


And as the Day, her lover, leads her in
How bright his beauty glows!
How red his lips, that ever try to win
Her mouth’s delicious rose!
And from the beating of his heart
Warm winds arise and sighing thence depart;
And from his eyes and hair
The light and dew
Fall round her everywhere,
And Heaven above her is an arch of blue.


Come to the forest, or the treeless meadows
Deep with their hay or grain;
Come where the hills lift high their thrones of shadows,
Where tawny orchards reign.
Come where the reapers whet the scythe;
Where golden sheaves are heaped; where berriers blythe,
With willow-basket and with pail,
Swarm knoll and plain;
Where flowers freckle every vale,
And beauty goes with hands of berry-stain.


Come where the dragon-flies, a brassy blue,
Flit round the wildwood streams,
And, sucking at some horn of honey-dew,
The wild-bee hums and dreams.
Come where the butterfly waves wings of sleep,
Gold-disked and mottled over blossoms deep;
Come where beneath the rustic bridge
The green frog cries;
Or in the shade the rainbowed midge,
Above the emerald pools, with murmurings flies.
Come where the cattle browse within the brake,
As red as oak and strong;
Where far-off bells the echoes faintly wake,
And milkmaids sing their song.
Come where the vine-trailed rocks, with waters hoary,
Tell to the sun some legend or some story;
Or, where the sunset to the land
Speaks words of gold;
Where ripeness walks, a wheaten band
Around her hair and blossoms manifold.


Come where the woods lift up their stalwart arms
Unto the star-sown skies;
Knotted and gnarled, that to the winds and storms
Fling mighty rhapsodies:
Or to the moon repeat what they have seen,
When Night upon their shoulders vast doth lean.
Come where the dew’s clear syllable
Drips from the rose;
And where the fire-flies fill
The night with golden music of their glows.


Now while the dingles and the vine-roofed glens
Whisper their flowery tale
Unto the silence; and the lakes and fens
Unto the moonlight pale
Murmur their rapture, let us seek her out,
Her of the honey throat, and peachy pout,
Summer! and at her feet,
The love of old
Lay like a sheaf of wheat,
And of our hearts the purest gold of gold.

Madison Julius Cawein



Now Lucifer ignites her taper bright
To greet the wild-flowered Dawn,
Who leads the tasseled Summer draped with light
Down heaven’s gilded lawn.
Hark to the minstrels of the woods,
Tuning glad harps in haunted solitudes!
List to the rillet’s music soft,
The tree’s hushed song:
Flushed from her star aloft
Comes blue-eyed Summer stepping meek along.


And as the lusty lover leads her in,
Clad in soft blushes red,
With breezy lips her love he tries to win,
Doth many a tear-drop shed:
While airy sighs, dyed in his heart,
Like Cupid’s arrows, flame-tipped o’er her dart,
He bends his yellow head and craves
The timid maid
For one sweet kiss, and laves
Her rose-crowned locks with tears until ’tis paid.


Come to the forest or the musky meadows
Brown with their mellow grain;
Come where the cascades shake green shadows,
Where tawny orchards reign.
Come where fall reapers ply the scythe,
Where golden sheaves are heaped by damsels blithe:
Come to the rock-rough mountain old,
Tree-pierced and wild;
Where freckled flowers paint the wold,
Hail laughing Summer, sunny-haired, blonde child!


Come where the dragon-flies in coats of blue
Flit o’er the wildwood streams,
And fright the wild bee from the honey-dew
Where if long-sipping dreams.
Come where the touch-me-nots shy peep
Gold-horned and speckled from the cascades steep:
Come where the daisies by the rustic bridge
Display their eyes,
Or where the lilied sedge
From emerald forest-pools, lance-like, thick rise.


Come where the wild deer feed within the brake
As red as oak and strong;
Come where romantic echoes wildly wake
Old hills to mystic song.
Come to the vine-hung woodlands hoary,
Come to the realms of hunting song and story;
But come when Summer decks the land
With garb of gold,
With colors myriad as the sand –
A birth-fair child, tho’ thousand summers old.


Come where the trees extend their shining arms
Unto the star-sown skies;
Displaying wrinkled age in limb-gnarled charms
When Night, moon-eyed, brown lies
Upon their bending lances seen
With fluttered pennons in the moon’s broad sheen.
Come where the pearly dew is spread
Upon the rose;
Come where the fire-flies wed
The drowsy Night flame-stained with sudden glows.


Come to the vine-dark dingle’s whispering glens
White with their blossoms pale;
Come to the willowed weed-haired lakes and fens;
Come to the tedded vale.
Come all, and greet the brown-browed child
With lips of honey red as a poppy wild,
Clothed in her vernal robes of old,
Her hair with wheat
All tawny as with gold;
Hail Summer with her sandaled grain-bound feet!

Madison Julius Cawein

Summer By The Lakeside

Lake Winnipesaukee

White clouds, whose shadows haunt the deep,
Light mists, whose soft embraces keep
The sunshine on the hills asleep!

O isles of calm! O dark, still wood!
And stiller skies that overbrood
Your rest with deeper quietude!

O shapes and hues, dim beckoning, through
Yon mountain gaps, my longing view
Beyond the purple and the blue,

To stiller sea and greener land,
And softer lights and airs more bland,
And skies,–the hollow of God’s hand!

Transfused through you, O mountain friends!
With mine your solemn spirit blends,
And life no more hath separate ends.

I read each misty mountain sign,
I know the voice of wave and pine,
And I am yours, and ye are mine.

Life’s burdens fall, its discords cease,
I lapse into the glad release
Of Nature’s own exceeding peace.

O welcome calm of heart and mind!
As falls yon fir-tree’s loosened rind
To leave a tenderer growth behind,

So fall the weary years away;
A child again, my head I lay
Upon the lap of this sweet day.

This western wind hath Lethean powers,
Yon noonday cloud nepenthe showers,
The lake is white with lotus-flowers!

Even Duty’s voice is faint and low,
And slumberous Conscience, waking slow,
Forgets her blotted scroll to show.

The Shadow which pursues us all,
Whose ever-nearing steps appall,
Whose voice we hear behind us call,–

That Shadow blends with mountain gray,
It speaks but what the light waves say,–
Death walks apart from Fear to-day!

Rocked on her breast, these pines and I
Alike on Nature’s love rely;
And equal seems to live or die.

Assured that He whose presence fills
With light the spaces of these hills
No evil to His creatures wills,

The simple faith remains, that He
Will do, whatever that may be,
The best alike for man and tree.

What mosses over one shall grow,
What light and life the other know,
Unanxious, leaving Him to show.


Yon mountain’s side is black with night,
While, broad-orhed, o’er its gleaming crown
The moon, slow-rounding into sight,
On the hushed inland sea looks down.

How start to light the clustering isles,
Each silver-hemmed! How sharply show
The shadows of their rocky piles,
And tree-tops in the wave below!

How far and strange the mountains seem,
Dim-looming through the pale, still light
The vague, vast grouping of a dream,
They stretch into the solemn night.

Beneath, lake, wood, and peopled vale,
Hushed by that presence grand and grave,
Are silent, save the cricket’s wail,
And low response of leaf and wave.

Fair scenes! whereto the Day and Night
Make rival love, I leave ye soon,
What time before the eastern light
The pale ghost of the setting moon

Shall hide behind yon rocky spines,
And the young archer, Morn, shall break
His arrows on the mountain pines,
And, golden-sandalled, walk the lake!

Farewell! around this smiling bay
Gay-hearted Health, and Life in bloom,
With lighter steps than mine, may stray
In radiant summers yet to come.

But none shall more regretful leave
These waters and these hills than I
Or, distant, fonder dream how eve
Or dawn is painting wave and sky;

How rising moons shine sad and mild
On wooded isle and silvering bay;
Or setting suns beyond the piled
And purple mountains lead the day;

Nor laughing girl, nor bearding boy,
Nor full-pulsed manhood, lingering here,
Shall add, to life’s abounding joy,
The charmed repose to suffering dear.

Still waits kind Nature to impart
Her choicest gifts to such as gain
An entrance to her loving heart
Through the sharp discipline of pain.

Forever from the Hand that takes
One blessing from us others fall;
And, soon or late, our Father makes
His perfect recompense to all!

Oh, watched by Silence and the Night,
And folded in the strong embrace
Of the great mountains, with the light
Of the sweet heavens upon thy face,

Lake of the Northland! keep thy dower
Of beauty still, and while above
Thy solemn mountains speak of power,
Be thou the mirror of God’s love.

John Greenleaf Whittier

Summer Dawn

Pray but one prayer for me ‘twixt thy closed lips;
Think but one thought of me up in the stars.
The summer night waneth, the morning light slips,
Faint and grey ‘twixt the leaves of the aspen, betwixt the cloud-bars,
That are patiently waiting there for the dawn:
Patient and colourless, though Heaven’s gold
Waits to float through them along with the sun.
Far out in the meadows, above the young corn,
The heavy elms wait, and restless and cold
The uneasy wind rises; the roses are dun;
They pray the long gloom through for daylight new born,
Round the lone house in the midst of the corn.
Speak but one word to me over the corn,
Over the tender, bow’d locks of the corn.

William Morris

Summer Days.

Like emerald lakes the meadows lie,
And daisies dot the main;
The sunbeams from the deep blue sky
Drop down in golden rain,
And gild the lily’s silver bell,
And coax buds apart,
But I miss the sunshine of my youth,
The summer of my heart.

The wild birds sing the same glad song
They sang in days of yore;
The laughing rivulet glides along,
Low whispering to the shore,
And its mystic water turns to gold
The sunbeam’s quivering dart,
But I miss the sunshine of my youth,
The summer of my heart.

The south wind murmurs tenderly
To the complaining leaves;
The Flower Queen gorgeous tapestry
Of rose and purple weaves.
Yes, Nature’s smile, the wary while,
Wears all its olden truth,
But I miss the sunshine of my heart,
The summer of my youth.

Marietta Holley

Summer Days Are Over

“Summer days are over,
Summer work is done;
Harvests have been gathered
Gayly one by one.
Now the feast is eaten,
Finished is the play;
But one rite remains for
Our Thanksgiving-day.

“Best of all the harvest
In the dear God’s sight,
Are the happy children
In the home to-night;
And we come to offer
Thanks where thanks are due,
With grateful hearts and voices,
Father, mother, unto you.”

Louisa May Alcott

Summer Dreams

When the Summer sun is shining,
And the green things push and grow,
Oft my heart runs over measure,
With its flowing fount of pleasure,
As I feel the sea winds blow;
Ah, then life is good, I know.

And I think of sweet birds building,
And of children fair and free;
And of glowing sun-kissed meadows,
And of tender twilight shadows,
And of boats upon the sea.
Oh, then life seems good to me!

Then unbidden and unwanted,
Come the darker, sadder sights;
City shop and stifling alley,
Where misfortune’s children rally;
And the hot crime-breeding nights,
And the dearth of God’s delights.

And I think of narrow prisons
Where unhappy songbirds dwell,
And of cruel pens and cages
Where some captured wild thing rages
Like a madman in his cell,
In the Zoo, the wild beasts’ hell.

And I long to lift the burden
Of man’s selfishness and sin;
And to open wide earth’s treasures
Of God’s storehouse, full of pleasures,
For my dumb and human kin,
And to ask the whole world in.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Summer Evening

The sinking sun is taking leave,
And sweetly gilds the edge of Eve,
While huddling clouds of purple dye
Gloomy hang the western sky.
Crows crowd croaking over head,
Hastening to the woods to bed.
Cooing sits the lonely dove,
Calling home her absent love.
With “Kirchup! Kirchup!” mong the wheats
Partridge distant partridge greets;
Beckoning hints to those that roam,
That guide the squandered covey home.
Swallows check their winding flight,
And twittering on the chimney light.
Round the pond the martins flirt,
Their snowy breasts bedaubed with dirt,
While the mason, neath the slates,
Each mortar-bearing bird awaits:
By art untaught, each labouring spouse
Curious daubs his hanging house.

Bats flit by in hood and cowl;
Through the barn-hole pops the owl;
From the hedge, in drowsy hum,
Heedless buzzing beetles bum,
Haunting every bushy place,
Flopping in the labourer’s face.
Now the snail hath made its ring;
And the moth with snowy wing
Circles round in winding whirls,
Through sweet evening’s sprinkled pearls,
On each nodding rush besprent;
Dancing on from bent to bent;
Now to downy grasses clung,
Resting for a while he’s hung;
Then, to ferry oer the stream,
Vanishing as flies a dream;
Playful still his hours to keep,
Till his time has come to sleep;

In tall grass, by fountain head,
Weary then he drops to bed.
From the hay-cock’s moistened heaps,
Startled frogs take vaunting leaps;
And along the shaven mead,
Jumping travellers, they proceed:
Quick the dewy grass divides,
Moistening sweet their speckled sides;
From the grass or flowret’s cup,
Quick the dew-drop bounces up.
Now the blue fog creeps along,
And the bird’s forgot his song:
Flowers now sleep within their hoods;
Daisies button into buds;
From soiling dew the butter-cup
Shuts his golden jewels up;
And the rose and woodbine they
Wait again the smiles of day.
Neath the willow’s wavy boughs,
Dolly, singing, milks her cows;
While the brook, as bubbling by,
Joins in murmuring melody.
Dick and Dob, with jostling joll,
Homeward drag the rumbling roll;
Whilom Ralph, for Doll to wait,
Lolls him o’er the pasture gate.
Swains to fold their sheep begin;
Dogs loud barking drive them in.
Hedgers now along the road
Homeward bend beneath their load;
And from the long furrowed seams,
Ploughmen loose their weary teams:
Ball, with urging lashes wealed,
Still so slow to drive a-field,
Eager blundering from the plough,
Wants no whip to drive him now;
At the stable-door he stands,
Looking round for friendly hands

To loose the door its fastening pin,
And let him with his corn begin.
Round the yard, a thousand ways,
Beasts in expectation gaze,
Catching at the loads of hay
Passing fodderers tug away.
Hogs with grumbling, deafening noise,
Bother round the server boys;
And, far and near, the motley group
Anxious claim their suppering-up.

From the rest, a blest release,
Gabbling home, the quarreling geese
Seek their warm straw-littered shed,
And, waddling, prate away to bed.
Nighted by unseen delay,
Poking hens, that lose their way,
On the hovel’s rafters rise,
Slumbering there, the fox’s prize.
Now the cat has ta’en her seat,
With her tail curled round her feet;
Patiently she sits to watch
Sparrows fighting on the thatch.
Now Doll brings the expected pails,
And dogs begin to wag their tails;
With strokes and pats they’re welcomed in,
And they with looking wants begin;
Slove in the milk-pail brimming o’er,
She pops their dish behind the door.
Prone to mischief boys are met,
Neath the eaves the ladder’s set,
Sly they climb in softest tread,
To catch the sparrow on his bed;
Massacred, O cruel pride!
Dashed against the ladder’s side.
Curst barbarians! pass me by;
Come not, Turks, my cottage nigh;
Sure my sparrows are my own,
Let ye then my birds alone.

Come, poor birds, from foes severe
Fearless come, you’re welcome here;
My heart yearns at fate like yours,
A sparrow’s life’s as sweet as ours.
Hardy clowns! grudge not the wheat
Which hunger forces birds to eat:
Your blinded eyes, worst foes to you,
Can’t see the good which sparrows do.
Did not poor birds with watching rounds
Pick up the insects from your grounds,
Did they not tend your rising grain,
You then might sow to reap in vain.
Thus Providence, right understood,
Whose end and aim is doing good,
Sends nothing here without its use;
Though ignorance loads it with abuse,
And fools despise the blessing sent,
And mock the Giver’s good intent.–
O God, let me what’s good pursue,
Let me the same to others do
As I’d have others do to me,
And learn at least humanity.

Dark and darker glooms the sky;
Sleep gins close the labourer’s eye:
Dobson leaves his greensward seat,
Neighbours where they neighbours meet
Crops to praise, and work in hand,
And battles tell from foreign land.
While his pipe is puffing out,
Sue he’s putting to the rout,
Gossiping, who takes delight
To shool her knitting out at night,
And back-bite neighbours bout the town–
Who’s got new caps, and who a gown,
And many a thing, her evil eye
Can see they don’t come honest by.
Chattering at a neighbour’s house,
She hears call out her frowning spouse;
Prepared to start, she soodles home,
Her knitting twisting oer her thumb,
As, both to leave, afraid to stay,
She bawls her story all the way;
The tale so fraught with ‘ticing charms,
Her apron folded oer her arms.
She leaves the unfinished tale, in pain,
To end as evening comes again:
And in the cottage gangs with dread,
To meet old Dobson’s timely frown,
Who grumbling sits, prepared for bed,
While she stands chelping bout the town.

The night-wind now, with sooty wings,
In the cotter’s chimney sings;
Now, as stretching oer the bed,
Soft I raise my drowsy head,
Listening to the ushering charms,
That shake the elm tree’s mossy arms:
Till sweet slumbers stronger creep,
Deeper darkness stealing round,
Then, as rocked, I sink to sleep,
Mid the wild wind’s lulling sound.

John Clare

Summer Evening

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.

John Clare

Summer Evening.

How pleasant, when the heat of day is bye,
And seething dew empurples round the hill
Of the horizon, sweeping with the eye
In easy circles, wander where we will!
While o’er the meadow’s little fluttering rill
The twittering sunbeam weakens cool and dim,
And busy hum of flies is hush’d and still.
How sweet the walks by hedge-row bushes seem,
On this side wavy grass, on that the stream;
While dog-rose, woodbine, and the privet-spike,
On the young gales their rural sweetness teem,
With yellow flag-flowers rustling in the dyke;
Each mingling into each, a ceaseless charm
To every heart that nature’s sweets can warm.

John Clare

A Summer Evening.


The sun has sunk in the crimson west,
And “around the languid eyes of day”
The Twilight’s dreamy shadows rest
And light and shade alternate play;
The winds are hushed, nor leaf nor flower
Is swayed with motion by their power.


The fireflies with meteor lamps
Arise from out the dewy lawn,
And there the elfin cricket chants
His vespers when the day is gone,
And far above, the sky’s coquette
With all her starry train is met.

George W. Doneghy

Summer Evening

All things are seamless,
As though forgotten, light and dull.
From the sacred heights the green sky spills
Still water on the city.
Glazed cobblers’ lamps shine.
Empty bakeries are waiting.
People in the street, astonished, stride
Towards a miracle.
A copper red goblin runs
Up towards the roof, up and down.
Little girls fall, sobbing
From the poles of street lights.

Alfred Lichtenstein

Summer Evening

The sandy cat by the Farmer’s chair
Mews at his knee for dainty fare;
Old Rover in his moss-greened house
Mumbles a bone, and barks at a mouse
In the dewy fields the cattle lie
Chewing the cud ‘neath a fading sky
Dobbin at manger pulls his hay:
Gone is another summer’s day.

Walter De La Mare

Summer-Evening, A

Come, my dear Love, and let us climb yon hill,
The prospect, from its height, will well reward
The toil of climbing; thence we shall command
The various beauties of the landscape round.
Now we have reached the top. O! what a scene
Opens upon the sight, and swallows up
The admiring soul! She feels as if from earth
Uplifted into heaven. Scarce can she yet
Collect herself, and exercise her powers.
While o’er heaven’s lofty, wide-extended arch,
And round the vast horizon, the bold eye
Shoots forth her view, with what sublime delight
The bosom swells! See, where the God of day,
Who through the cloudless ether long has rid
On his bright, fiery car, amidst a blaze
Of dazzling glory, and in wrath shot round
His burning arrows, with tyrannic power
Oppressing Nature, now, his daily course
Well-nigh completed, toward the western goal
Declines, and with less awful majesty
Concludes his reign; his flamy chariot hid
In floods of golden light that dazzles still,
Though less intense. O! how these scenes exalt
The throbbing heart! Louisa, canst thou bear
These strong emotions? do they not o’erpower
Thy tender nerves? I fear, my Love, they do;
Those eyes that, late, with transport beam’d so bright,
Now veil their rays with the soft, dewy shade
Of tenderness. Let us repose awhile;
The roots of yonder tree, cover’d with moss,
Present a pleasing seat; there let us sit.
Hark! Zephyr wakes, and sweetly-whispering, tells
The approach of Eve; already Nature feels
Her soothing influence, her refreshing breath;
The fields, the trees, imbibe the cool, moist air,
Their feverish thirst allay, and smile revived.
The Soul, too, feels her influence, sweetly soothed
Into a tender calm. O! let us now,
My loved Louisa! let us now enjoy
The landscape’s charms, and all the nameless sweets
Of this, our favourite hour, for ever dear
To Fancy and to Love. Cast round thy sight
Upon the altered scene, nor longer fear
The dazzling sun; his latest, lingering beams
Where are they? can’st thou find them? see! they gild
The glittering top of yonder village-spire;
Upon that distant hill they faintly shine;
And look! the topmost boughs of this tall oak
Majestic, which o’ercanopies our heads,
Yet catch their tremulous glimmerings: now they fade,
Fade and expire; and, as they fade, the Moon,
The full-orb’d Moon, that seem’d, erewhile, to melt
In the bright azure, from the darkening sky
Emerging slow, and silent, sheds around
Her snowy light, that with the day’s last, dim
Reflection, from the broad, translucid lake,
Insensibly commingles, and unites
In sweetest harmony, o’er all the scene
Diffusing magic tints, enchanting power.
How lovely every object now appears!
Each in itself, and how they all combine
In one delightful whole! What eye, what heart,
O Nature! can resist thy potent charms
When thus in soft, transparent shade half-veil’d?
Now Beauty and Sublimity, methinks,
Upon the lap of Eve, embracing sleep.
Mark the tree-tops, my Love, of yonder wood,
Whose moonlight foliage fluctuates in the breeze,
Say, do they not, in figure, motion, hue,
Resemble the sea-waves at misty dawn?
What shadowy shape along the troubled lake
Comes this way moving? how mysteriously
It glides along! how indistinct its form!
Imagination views with sweet surprise
The unknown appearance breathless in suspense.
The Spirit of the waters can it be,
On his aerial car? some fairy Power?
Pants not thy heart, Louisa, half-alarm’d?
It grows upon the sight, strange, watery sounds
Attend its course; hark! was not that a voice?
O! ’tis a fishing-boat! its sails and oars
I now discern. The church-clock strikes! how loud
Burst forth its sound into the startled air,
That feels it still, and trembles far around!
My dearest Love! it summons us away;
The dew begins to fall; let us depart:
How sweetly have we spent this evening-hour!

Thomas Oldham

Summer Evening At Home

Come, lovely Evening! with thy smile of peace
Visit my humble dwelling; welcomed in,
Not with loud shouts, and the thronged city’s din,
But with such sounds as bid all tumult cease
Of the sick heart; the grasshopper’s faint pipe
Beneath the blades of dewy grass unripe,
The bleat of the lone lamb, the carol rude
Heard indistinctly from the village green,
The bird’s last twitter, from the hedge-row seen,
Where, just before, the scattered crumbs I strewed,
To pay him for his farewell song; all these
Touch soothingly the troubled ear, and please
The stilly-stirring fancies. Though my hours
(For I have drooped beneath life’s early showers)
Pass lonely oft, and oft my heart is sad,
Yet I can leave the world, and feel most glad
To meet thee, Evening, here; here my own hand
Has decked with trees and shrubs the slopes around,
And whilst the leaves by dying airs are fanned,
Sweet to my spirit comes the farewell sound,
That seems to say: Forget the transient tear
Thy pale youth shed–Repose and Peace are here.

William Lisle Bowles

A Summer Evening Scene in Chateauguay

Written In Montreal.

Often, when the sun is sinking
O’er the mountain’s glowing crest,
When the earth and heaven are linking
In that bond of peaceful rest;
Then, the weary city spurning,
On this grand repose I gaze,
And my mind, in fancy turning,
Dwells on scenes of childhood’s days.

And I float upon the river
At the selfsame time of day,
When the sparkling waters quiver
‘Neath the slanting evening ray.
Day’s harsh memories forsaking
With its jarring and its jest,
For the soul is but awaking
As the day is lulled to rest.

Glimpse of even’s glory getting
As the summer sun serene,
In his softened splendour setting,
Gilds the spires of Ste. Martine;
Glimmers through the silent bushes,
Glances on the birchen stems;
Casts perchance his fitful blushes
On the paddle, dripping gems.

And the hue of gold is deeper
On the cornfields by the stream;
And the sickle of the reaper
Flashes brightly in his beam.
And the fruits, of late commencing
To indue their glowing tint,
Richest beauty are enhancing
As they catch his gentle glint.

Now he greets the gaudy dresses
Of the lightsome Gallic maids,
Rivals through their raven tresses
Eyes of jet beneath their braids
As the peasant party gathers
Gaily for the sportive dance,
As of old have done their fathers
In the sunny vales of France.

But the night is falling thicker,
And the twilight soon will cease,
So I paddle on the quicker
Past where Beauty reigns with Peace;
Where the little brooks deliver
Water laughing in its glee,
Or the murky English River
Mingles with the Chateauguay.

W. M. MacKeracher

Summer Freshness

The sky is like a blue jellyfish.
And all around are fields, rolling meadows –
Peaceful world, you great mousetrap,
Would that I might finally escape from you.. O if I had wings –
One plays dice. Guzzles. Chatters about future countries.
Each person puts in his own two cents.
The earth is a succulent Sunday roast,
Nicely dunked into a sweet sun-sauce.
If only there were a wind… that ripped
The gentle world with iron claws. That would amuse me.
But if a storm comes… It would shred
The lovely blue eternal sky into a thousand pieces.

By Alfred Lichtenstein

The Summer Girl

She’s the jauntiest of creatures, she’s the daintiest of misses,
With her pretty patent leathers or her alligator ties,
With her eyes inviting glances and her lips inviting kisses,
As she wanders by the ocean or strolls under country skies.

She’s a captivating dresser, and her parasols are stunning;
Her fads will take your breath away, her hats are dreams of style;
She is not so very bookish, but with repartee and punning
She can set the savants laughing and make even dudelets smile.

She has no attacks of talent, she is not a stage-struck maiden;
She is wholly free from hobbies, and she dreams of no “career”;
She is mostly gay and happy, never sad or care-beladen,
Though she sometimes sighs a little if a gentleman is near.

She’s a sturdy little walker and she braves all kinds of weather,
And when the rain or fog or mist drive rival crimps a-wreck,
Her fluffy hair goes curling like a kinked-up ostrich feather
Around her ears and forehead and the white nape of her neck.

She is like a fish in water; she can handle reins and racket;
From head to toe and finger-tips she’s thoroughly alive;
When she goes promenading in a most distracting jacket,
The rustle round her feet suggests how laundresses may thrive.

She can dare the wind and sunshine in the most bravado manner,
And after hours of sailing she has merely cheeks of rose;
Old Sol himself seems smitten, and at most will only tan her,
Though to everybody else he gives a danger-signal nose.

She’s a trifle sentimental, and she’s fond of admiration,
And she sometimes flirts a little in the season’s giddy whirl;
But win her if you can, sir, she may prove your life’s salvation,
For an angel masquerading oft is she, the Summer Girl.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Summer Heat.

Nay, why discuss this summer heat,
Of which vain people tell?
Oh, sinner, rather were it meet
To fix thy thoughts on hell!

The punishment ordained for you
In that infernal spot
Is het by Satan’s impish crew
And kept forever hot.

Sumatra might be reckoned nice,
And Tophet passing cool,
And Sodom were a cake of ice
Beside that sulphur pool.

An awful stench and dismal wail
Come from the broiling souls,
Whilst Satan with his fireproof tail
Stirs up the brimstone coals.

Oh, sinner, on this end ’tis meet
That thou shouldst ponder well,
For what, oh, what, is worldly heat
Unto the heat of hell?

Eugene Field

Summer Going

Crickets calling,
Apples falling.

Summer dying,
Life is flying.

So soon over –
Love and lover.

Richard Le Gallienne

Summer Hours.

It is the year’s high noon,
The earth sweet incense yields,
And o’er the fresh, green fields
Bends the clear sky of June.

I leave the crowded streets,
The hum of busy life,
Its clamor and its strife,
To breathe thy perfumed sweets.

O rare and golden hours!
The bird’s melodious song,
Wavelike, is borne along
Upon a strand of flowers.

I wander far away,
Where, through the forest trees,
Sports the cool summer breeze,
In wild and wanton play.

A patriarchal elm
Its stately form uprears,
Which twice a hundred years
Has ruled this woodland realm.

I sit beneath its shade,
And watch, with careless eye,
The brook that babbles by,
And cools the leafy glade.

In truth I wonder not,
That in the ancient days
The temples of God’s praise
Were grove and leafy grot.

The noblest ever planned,
With quaint device and rare,
By man, can ill compare
With these from God’s own hand.

Pilgrim with way-worn feet,
Who, treading life’s dull round,
No true repose hast found,
Come to this green retreat.

For bird, and flower, and tree,
Green fields, and woodland wild,
Shall bear, with voices mild,
Sweet messages to thee.

Horatio Alger, Jr.

The Summer House.

Midway upon the lawn it stands,
So picturesque and pretty;
Upreared by patient artist hands,
Admired of all the city;
The very arbor of my dream,
A covert cool and airy,
So leaf-embowered as to seem
The dwelling of a fairy.

It is the place to lie supine
Within a hammock swinging,
To watch the sunset, red as wine,
To hear the crickets singing;
And while the insect world around
Is buzzing – by the million –
No wing’d thing above the ground
Intrudes in this pavilion.

It is the place, at day’s decline,
To tell the old, old story
Behind the dark Madeira vine,
Behind the morning glory;
To confiscate the rustic seat
And barter stolen kisses,
For honey must be twice as sweet
In such a spot as this is.

It is the haunt where one may get
Relief from petty trouble,
May read the latest day’s gazette
About the “Klondike” bubble:
How shanties rise like golden courts.
Where sheep wear glittering fleeces,
How gold is picked up – by the quartz –
And all get rich as Croesus.

Here hid away from dust and heat,
Secure from rude intrusion,
While willing lips the thought repeat,
So grows the fond illusion:
That happiness the product is
Of lazy, languid dozing,
Of soft midsummer reveries,
Half-waking, half-reposing.

And here in restful interlude,
Life’s fallacies forgetting,
Its frailties – such a multitude –
The fuming and the fretting,
Amid the fragrance, dusk, and dew,
The happy soul at even
May walk abroad, and interview
Bright messengers from Heaven.

Hattie Howard

Summer Images

Now swarthy summer, by rude health embrowned,
Precedence takes of rosy fingered spring;
And laughing joy, with wild flowers pranked and crowned,
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 smiles 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 mirth 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 ears 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.

There 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 oerflow,
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.

And 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;
Where passions vain and rude
By calm reflection, 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;

And green lane traverse heedless where it goes
Nought guessing, till some sudden turn espies
Rude battered finger post, that stooping shows
Where the snug mystery lies;
And then a mossy spire, with ivy crown,
Clears 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, oer 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:

Then thread the sunny valley laced with streams,
Or forests rude, and the oershadowed brims
Of simple ponds, where idle shepherd dreams,
And streaks 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 oer 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 bents and 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:

And sawning boy by tanning corn espy,
With clapping noise to startle birds away,
And hear him bawl to every passer by
To know the hour of day;
And see the uncradled breeze, refreshed and strong,
With waking blossoms play,
And breathe eolian song.

I love the south-west wind, or low or loud,
And not the less when sudden drops of rain
Moisten my pallid 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 oer the mingling scenes
Far spreads the laughing sky.

And wind-enamoured aspin–mark the leaves
Turn up their silver lining to the sun,
And list! the brustling noise, that oft deceives,
And makes the sheep-boy run;
The sound so mimics fast-approaching showers,
He thinks the rain 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 nighty circlet makes;
The glow-worm burnishes its lamp anew
Oer meadows dew-besprent; and beetle wakes
Enquiries ever new,
Teazing each passing ear with murmurs vain,
As wanting to pursue
His homeward path again.

Hark to the melody of distant bells
That on the wind with pleasing hum rebounds
By fitful starts, then musically swells
Oer the dun 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,
Then scour the dewy plain.

How sweet the soothing calm that smoothly stills
Oer 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 cheered me when a boy.
Play–pastime–all time’s blotting pen concealed,
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;
It loves in quiet moods to sympathize,
And meet vibrating joys
Oer nature’s pleasant things; nor will it deem
Pastime the muse employs
A vain obtrusive theme.

John Clare

Summer in Auvergne

The sundawn fills the land
Full as a feaster’s hand
Fills full with bloom of bland
Bright wine his cup;
Flows full to flood that fills
From the arch of air it thrills
Those rust-red iron hills
With morning up.

Dawn, as a panther springs,
With fierce and fire-fledged wings
Leaps on the land that rings
From her bright feet
Through all its lava-black
Cones that cast answer back
And cliffs of footless track
Where thunders meet.

The light speaks wide and loud
From deeps blown clean of cloud
As though day’s heart were proud
And heaven’s were glad;
The towers brown-striped and grey
Take fire from heaven of day
As though the prayers they pray
Their answers had.

Higher in these high first hours
Wax all the keen church towers,
And higher all hearts of ours
Than the old hills’ crown,
Higher than the pillared height
Of that strange cliff-side bright
With basalt towers whose might
Strong time bows down.

And the old fierce ruin there
Of the old wild princes’ lair
Whose blood in mine hath share
Gapes gaunt and great
Toward heaven that long ago
Watched all the wan land’s woe
Whereon the wind would blow
Of their bleak hate.

Dead are those deeds; but yet
Their memory seems to fret
Lands that might else forget
That old world’s brand;
Dead all their sins and days;
Yet in this red clime’s rays
Some fiery memory stays
That sears their land.

Algernon Charles Swinburne

Summer In England, 1914

On London fell a clearer light;
Caressing pencils of the sun
Defined the distances, the white
Houses transfigured one by one,
The “long, unlovely street” impearled.
O what a sky has walked the world!

Most happy year! And out of town
The hay was prosperous, and the wheat;
The silken harvest climbed the down;
Moon after moon was heavenly-sweet
Stroking the bread within the sheaves,
Looking twixt apples and their leaves.

And while this rose made round her cup,
The armies died convulsed. And when
This chaste young silver sun went up
Softly, a thousand shattered men,
One wet corruption, heaped the plain,
After a league-long throb of pain.

Flower following tender flower; and birds,
And berries; and benignant skies
Made thrive the serried flocks and herds.-
Yonder are men shot through the eyes.
Love, hide thy face
From man’s unpardonable race.

* * * * *

Who said “No man hath greater love than this,
To die to serve his friend?”
So these have loved us all unto the end.
Chide thou no more, O thou unsacrificed!
The soldier dying dies upon a kiss,
The very kiss of Christ.

Alice Christiana Gertrude Thompson Meynell

Summer In London

Oh, the noise of Piccadilly – its rumble and its roar!
A tide of life’s broad ocean surging toward the shore.
Who once has listened, ever can hear its long refrain
With haunting echo drowning or dirge or flaunting strain.
Who heeds it, in his vision may see a world-throng pass –
And over there the Green Park with laughing lad and lass;
While weary men and women and careless youth go by,
Where windows glow and glitter, and in the evening sky
A crescent moon is watching the laughing lass and lad.
The long, warm London twilight! Happy they are, though sad.
With kiss and tear they are parting. ‘Tis late – the rush and roar –
The life of Picadilly is waning – is no more.

Ah, the dark, the cold, the stillness of the trenches in the night,
Where freezing men are crouching in the lull before the fight.
Then for one the calm is broken by the rumble and the roar
Of far-off Picadilly, and in dreams, as oft before,
He sees her who wept at parting. What was that? A whining shell?
Once a man – that huddled horror! He was smiling as he fell.

Summer has returned to London. Now the Green Park gleams anew.
Cheers and tears together mingle – but the breaking heart beats true.
Blare of trumpet! – blood and fire! – so her hero marched away.
Happy lad and lass they parted – now the pitying sky is gray.
Blood and fire! Through its heroes shall a nation live again.
Blare of trumpet! But in silence aching hearts must bear their pain.
Ah, the stillness of the trenches! ah, the rumble and the roar!
Cheers and tears by England offered for the lads who come no more.


Helen Leah Reed

Summer Is Ended.

To think that this meaningless thing was ever a rose
Scentless, colorless, this!
Will it ever be thus (who knows?)
Thus with our bliss,
If we wait till the close?

Though we care not to wait for the end, there comes the end
Sooner, later, at last,
Which nothing can mar, nothing mend:
An end locked fast,
Bent we cannot re-bend.

Christina Georgina Rossetti

Summer met Me

Summer met me in the glade,
With a host of fair princesses,
Golden iris, foxgloves staid,
Sunbeams flecked their gorgeous dresses.
Roses followed in her train,
Creamy elder-flowers beset me,
Singing, down the scented lane,
Summer met me!

Summer met me! Harebells rang,
Honeysuckle clustered near,
As the royal pageant sang
Songs enchanting to the ear.
Rainy days may come apace,
Nevermore to grieve or fret me,
Since, in all her radiant grace,
Summer met me!

Fay Inchfawn

The Summer Moon

How is it, O moon, that melting,
Unstintedly, prodigally,
On the peaks’ hard majesty,
Till they seem diaphanous
And fluctuant as a veil,
And pouring thy rapturous light
Through pine, and oak, and laurel,
Till the summer-sharpened green,
Softening and tremulous,
Is a lustrous miracle –
How is it that I find,
When I turn again to thee,
That thy lost and wasted light
Is regained in one magic breath?

Clark Ashton Smith

Summer Morning

The cocks have now the morn foretold,
The sun again begins to peep,
The shepherd, whistling to his fold,
Unpens and frees the captive sheep.
O’er pathless plains at early hours
The sleepy rustic sloomy goes;
The dews, brushed off from grass and flowers,
Bemoistening sop his hardened shoes

While every leaf that forms a shade,
And every floweret’s silken top,
And every shivering bent and blade,
Stoops, bowing with a diamond drop.
But soon shall fly those diamond drops,
The red round sun advances higher,
And, stretching o’er the mountain tops,
Is gilding sweet the village-spire.

‘Tis sweet to meet the morning breeze,
Or list the gurgling of the brook;
Or, stretched beneath the shade of trees,
Peruse and pause on Nature’s book,
When Nature every sweet prepares
To entertain our wished delay,—
The images which morning wears,
The wakening charms of early day!

Now let me tread the meadow paths
While glittering dew the ground illumes,
As, sprinkled o’er the withering swaths,
Their moisture shrinks in sweet perfumes;
And hear the beetle sound his horn;
And hear the skylark whistling nigh,
Sprung from his bed of tufted corn,
A haling minstrel from the sky.

John Clare

A Summer Night

In the deserted, moon-blanched street,
How lonely rings the echo of my feet!
Those windows, which I gaze at, frown,
Silent and white, unopening down,
Repellent as the world, but see,
A break between the housetops shows
The moon! and lost behind her, fading dim
Into the dewy dark obscurity
Down at the far horizon’s rim,
Doth a whole tract of heaven disclose!

And to my mind the thought
Is on a sudden brought
Of a past night, and a far different scene:
Headlands stood out into the moonlit deep
As clearly as at noon;
The spring-tide’s brimming flow
Heaved dazzlingly between;
Houses, with long wide sweep,
Girdled the glistening bay;
Behind, through the soft air,
The blue haze-cradled mountains spread away.
That night was far more fair
But the same restless pacings to and fro,
And the same vainly throbbing heart was there,
And the same bright, calm moon.

And the calm moonlight seems to say:
Hast thou then still the old unquiet breast,
Which neither deadens into rest,
Nor ever feels the fiery glow
That whirls the spirit from itself away,
But fluctuates to and fro,
Never by passion quite possessed
And never quite benumbed by the world’s sway?
And I, I know not if to pray
Still to be what I am, or yield, and be
Like all the other men I see.

For most men in a brazen prison live,
Where, in the sun’s hot eye,
With heads bent o’er their toil, they languidly
Their lives to some unmeaning taskwork give,
Dreaming of naught beyond their prison wall.
And as, year after year,
Fresh products of their barren labor fall
From their tired hands, and rest
Never yet comes more near,
Gloom settles slowly down over their breast.
And while they try to stem
The waves of mournful thought by which they are prest,
Death in their prison reaches them,
Unfreed, having seen nothing, still unblest.

And the rest, a few,
Escape their prison and depart
On the wide ocean of life anew.
There the freed prisoner, where’er his heart
Listeth will sail;
Nor doth he know how there prevail,
Despotic on that sea.
Trade-winds which cross it from eternity:
Awhile he holds some false way, undebarred
By thwarting signs, and braves
The freshening wind and blackening waves.
And then the tempest strikes him; and between
The lightning bursts is seen
Only a driving wreck,
And the pale master on his spar-strewn deck
With anguished face and flying hair
Grasping the rudder hard,
Still bent to make some port he knows not where,
Still standing for some false, impossible shore.
And sterner comes the roar
Of sea and wind, and through the deepening gloom
Fainter and fainter wreck and helmsman loom,
And he too disappears, and comes no more.

Is there no life, but these alone?
Madman or slave, must man be one?

Plainness and clearness without shadow of stain!
Clearness divine!
Ye heavens, whose pure dark regions have no sign
Of languor, though so calm, and though so great
Are yet untroubled and unpassionate;
Who, though so noble, share in the world’s toil,
And, though so tasked, keep free from dust and soil!
I will not say that your mild deeps retain
A tinge, it may be, of their silent pain
Who have longed deeply once, and longed in vain
But I will rather say that you remain

A world above man’s head, to let him see
How boundless might his soul’s horizons be,
How vast, yet of what clear transparency!
How it were good to live there, and breathe free;
How fair a lot to fill
Is left to each man still!

Matthew Arnold

A Summer Night

Summah is de lovin’ time–
Do’ keer what you say.
Night is allus peart an’ prime,
Bettah dan de day.
Do de day is sweet an’ good,
Birds a-singin’ fine,
Pines a-smellin’ in de wood,–
But de night is mine.

Rivah whisperin’ “howdy do,”
Ez it pass you by–
Moon a-lookin’ down at you,
Winkin’ on de sly.
Frogs a-croakin’ f’om de pon’,
Singin’ bass dey fill,
An’ you listen way beyon’
Ol’ man whippo’will.

Hush up, honey, tek my han’
Mek yo’ footsteps light;
Somep’n’ kin’ o’ hol’s de lan’
On a summah night.
Somep’n’ dat you nevah sees
An’ you nevah hyeahs,
But you feels it in de breeze,
Somep’n’ nigh to teahs.

Somep’n’ nigh to teahs? dat’s so;
But hit’s nigh to smiles.
An’ you feels it ez you go
Down de shinin’ miles.
Tek my han’, my little dove;
Hush an’ come erway–
Summah is de time fu’ love,
Night-time beats de day!

Paul Laurence Dunbar

Summer Night, Riverside

In the wild soft summer darkness
How many and many a night we two together
Sat in the park and watched the Hudson
Wearing her lights like golden spangles
Glinting on black satin.
The rail along the curving pathway
Was low in a happy place to let us cross,
And down the hill a tree that dripped with bloom
Sheltered us,
While your kisses and the flowers,
Falling, falling,
Tangled in my hair….
The frail white stars moved slowly over the sky.
And now, far off
In the fragrant darkness
The tree is tremulous again with bloom
For June comes back.
To-night what girl
Dreamily before her mirror shakes from her hair
This year’s blossoms, clinging to its coils?

Sara Teasdale

Summer Noontide

The slender snail clings to the leaf,
Gray on its silvered underside;
And slowly, slowlier than the snail, with brief
Bright steps, whose ripening touch foretells the sheaf,
Her warm hands berry-dyed,
Comes down the tanned Noontide.

The pungent fragrance of the mint
And pennyroyal drench her gown,
That leaves long shreds of trumpet-blossom tint
Among the thorns, and everywhere the glint
Of gold and white and brown
Her flowery steps waft down.

The leaves, like hands with emerald veined,
Along her way try their wild best
To reach the jewel whose hot hue was drained
From some rich rose that all the June contained
The butterfly, soft pressed
Upon her sunny breast.

Her shawl, the lace-like elder bloom,
She hangs upon the hillside brake,
Smelling of warmth and of her breast’s perfume,
And, lying in the citron-colored gloom
Beside the lilied lake,
She stares the buds awake.

Or, with a smile, through watery deeps
She leads the oaring turtle’s legs;
Or guides the crimson fish, that swims and sleeps
From pad to pad, from which the young frog leaps;
And to its nest’s green eggs
The bird that pleads and begs.

Then ‘mid the fields of unmown hay
She shows the bees where sweets are found;
And points the butterflies, at airy play,
And dragonflies, along the water-way,
Where honeyed flowers abound
For them to flicker ’round.

Or, where ripe apples pelt with gold
Some barn around which, coned with snow,
The wild-potato blooms she mount its old
Mossed roof, and through warped sides, the knots have holed
Lets her long glances glow
Into the loft below.

To show the mud-wasp at its cell
Slenderly busy; swallows, too,
Packing against a beam their nest’s clay shell;
And crouching in the dark the owl as well
With all her downy crew
Of owlets gray of hue.

These are her joys, and until dusk
Lounging she walks where reapers reap,
From sultry raiment shaking scents of musk,
Rustling the corn within its silken husk,
And driving down heav’n’s deep
White herds of clouds like sheep.

Madison Julius Cawein

A Summer Pastoral

It’s hot to-day. The bees is buzzin’
Kinder don’t-keer-like aroun’
An’ fur off the warm air dances
O’er the parchin’ roofs in town.
In the brook the cows is standin’;
Childern hidin’ in the hay;
Can’t keep none of ’em a workin’,
‘Cause it’s hot to-day.

It’s hot to-day. The sun is blazin’
Like a great big ball o’ fire;
Seems as ef instead o’ settin’
It keeps mountin’ higher an’ higher.
I’m as triflin’ as the children,
Though I blame them lots an’ scold;
I keep slippin’ to the spring-house,
Where the milk is rich an’ cold.

The very air within its shadder
Smells o’ cool an’ restful things,
An’ a roguish little robin
Sits above the place an’ sings.
I don’t mean to be a shirkin’,
But I linger by the way
Longer, mebbe, than is needful,
‘Cause it’s hot to-day.

It’s hot to-day. The horses stumble
Half asleep across the fiel’s;
An’ a host o’ teasin’ fancies
O’er my burnin’ senses steals,–
Dreams o’ cool rooms, curtains lowered,
An’ a sofy’s temptin’ look;
Patter o’ composin’ raindrops
Or the ripple of a brook.

I strike a stump! That wakes me sudden;
Dreams all vanish into air.
Lordy! how I chew my whiskers;
‘Twouldn’t do fur me to swear.
But I have to be so keerful
‘Bout my thoughts an’ what I say;
Somethin’ might slip out unheeded,
‘Cause it’s hot to-day.

Git up, there, Suke! you, Sal, git over!
Sakes alive! how I do sweat.
Every stitch that I’ve got on me,
Bet a cent, is wringin’ wet.
If this keeps up, I’ll lose my temper.
Gee there, Sal, you lazy brute!
Wonder who on airth this weather
Could ‘a’ be’n got up to suit?

You, Sam, go bring a tin o’ water;
Dash it all, don’t be so slow!
‘Pears as ef you tuk an hour
‘Tween each step to stop an’ blow.
Think I want to stand a meltin’
Out here in this b’ilin’ sun,
While you stop to think about it?
Lift them feet o’ your’n an’ run.

It ain’t no use; I’m plumb fetaggled.
Come an’ put this team away.
I won’t plow another furrer;
It’s too mortal hot to-day.
I ain’t weak, nor I ain’t lazy,
But I’ll stand this half day’s loss
‘Fore I let the devil make me
Lose my patience an’ git cross.

Paul Laurence Dunbar

A Summer Pilgrimage

To kneel before some saintly shrine,
To breathe the health of airs divine,
Or bathe where sacred rivers flow,
The cowled and turbaned pilgrims go.
I too, a palmer, take, as they
With staff and scallop-shell, my way
To feel, from burdening cares and ills,
The strong uplifting of the hills.

The years are many since, at first,
For dreamed-of wonders all athirst,
I saw on Winnipesaukee fall
The shadow of the mountain wall.
Ah! where are they who sailed with me
The beautiful island-studded sea?
And am I he whose keen surprise
Flashed out from such unclouded eyes?

Still, when the sun of summer burns,
My longing for the hills returns;
And northward, leaving at my back
The warm vale of the Merrimac,
I go to meet the winds of morn,
Blown down the hill-gaps, mountain-born,
Breathe scent of pines, and satisfy
The hunger of a lowland eye.

Again I see the day decline
Along a ridged horizon line;
Touching the hill-tops, as a nun
Her beaded rosary, sinks the sun.
One lake lies golden, which shall soon
Be silver in the rising moon;
And one, the crimson of the skies
And mountain purple multiplies.

With the untroubled quiet blends
The distance-softened voice of friends;
The girl’s light laugh no discord brings
To the low song the pine-tree sings;
And, not unwelcome, comes the hail
Of boyhood from his nearing sail.
The human presence breaks no spell,
And sunset still is miracle!

Calm as the hour, methinks I feel
A sense of worship o’er me steal;
Not that of satyr-charming Pan,
No cult of Nature shaming man,
Not Beauty’s self, but that which lives
And shines through all the veils it weaves,
Soul of the mountain, lake, and wood,
Their witness to the Eternal Good!

And if, by fond illusion, here
The earth to heaven seems drawing near,
And yon outlying range invites
To other and serener heights,
Scarce hid behind its topmost swell,
The shining Mounts Delectable
A dream may hint of truth no less
Than the sharp light of wakefulness.

As through her vale of incense smoke.
Of old the spell-rapt priestess spoke,
More than her heathen oracle,
May not this trance of sunset tell
That Nature’s forms of loveliness
Their heavenly archetypes confess,
Fashioned like Israel’s ark alone
From patterns in the Mount made known?

A holier beauty overbroods
These fair and faint similitudes;
Yet not unblest is he who sees
Shadows of God’s realities,
And knows beyond this masquerade
Of shape and color, light and shade,
And dawn and set, and wax and wane,
Eternal verities remain.

O gems of sapphire, granite set!
O hills that charmed horizons fret
I know how fair your morns can break,
In rosy light on isle and lake;
How over wooded slopes can run
The noonday play of cloud and sun,
And evening droop her oriflamme
Of gold and red in still Asquam.

The summer moons may round again,
And careless feet these hills profane;
These sunsets waste on vacant eyes
The lavish splendor of the skies;
Fashion and folly, misplaced here,
Sigh for their natural atmosphere,
And travelled pride the outlook scorn
Of lesser heights than Matterhorn.

But let me dream that hill and sky
Of unseen beauty prophesy;
And in these tinted lakes behold
The trailing of the raiment fold
Of that which, still eluding gaze,
Allures to upward-tending ways,
Whose footprints make, wherever found,
Our common earth a holy ground.

John Greenleaf Whittier

Summer Rain

O rain, Summer Rain! forever,
Out of the crystal spheres,
And cool from my brain the fever,
And wash from my eyes the tears

Stir gently the blossoming clover,
In the hollows dewy and deep,–
Somewhere they are blossoming over
The spot where I shall sleep.

Asleep from this wearisome aching,
With my arms crossed under my head,
I shall hear without awaking,
The rain that blesses the dead.

And the ocean of man’s existence,–
The surges of toil and care,
Shall break and die in the distance,
But never reach me there.

And yet–I fancy it often–
I should stir in my shrouded sleep,
And struggle to rise in my coffin,
If he came there to weep.

Among the dead–or the angels–
Though ever so faint and dim,
I should know that voice in a thousand,
And stretch my hands to him.

But the trouble of life and living,
And the burden of daily care,
And the endless sin, and forgiving,
Are greater than I can bear.

So rain, Summer Rain, and cover
The meadows dewy and deep,
And freshen the blossoming clover,
And sing me to dreamless sleep.

Kate Seymour Maclean

Summer Portents

Come, let us quaff the brimming cup
Of sorrow, bitterness, and pain;
For clearly, things are warming up

Observe with what awakened powers
The vulgar Sun resumes the right
Of rising in the hallowed hours
Of night.

Bound to the village water-wheel,
The motive bullock bows his crest,
And signals forth a mute appeal
For rest.

His neck is galled beneath the yoke:
His patient eyes are very dim:
Life is a dismal sort of joke
To him.

Yet one there is, to whom the ox
Is kin; who knows, as habitat,
The cold, unsympathetic box,
Or mat;

Who urges on, with wearied arms,
The punkah’s rhythmic, laboured sweep,
Nor dares to contemplate the charms
Of sleep.

Now ‘mid a host of lesser things
That pasture through the heaving nights,
The sharp mosquito flaps his wings,
And bites;

With other Anthropophagi,
Such as that microscopic brand
The common Sand-fly (or the fly
Of sand),

Who, with a hideous lust uncurbed
By clappings of the frequent palm,
Devours one’s ankles, undisturbed,
And calm.

The scorpion nips one unaware:
The lizard flops upon the head:
And cobras, uninvited, share
One’s bed.

Oh, if I only had the luck
To feel the grand Olympic fire
That thrilled the Greater when they struck
The lyre!

When Homer wrote of this and that:
When Dante sang like one possessed:
When Milton groaned and laboured at
His Best!

Had I the swelling rise and fall,
Whereof the Bo’sun’s quivering moan
Derives a breezy fragrance all
Its own:

Oh, I would pour such passion out –
Good gracious me! – I would so sing
That you should know the facts about
This thing!

Then w-w-wake, my Lyre! O halting lilt!
O miserable, broken lay!
It may not be: I am not built
That way.

Yet other gifts the gods bestow.
I do not weep, I do not grieve.
Far from it. I shall simply go
On leave.

John Kendall (Dum-Dum)

Summer Rain.

Oh, what is so pure as the glad summer rain,
That falls on the grass where the sunlight has lain?
And what is so fair as the flowers that lie
All bathed in the tears of the soft summer sky?

The blue of the heavens is dimmed by the rain
That wears away sorrow and washes out pain;
But we know that the flowers we cherish would die
Were it not for the tears of the cloud-laden sky.

The rose is the sweeter when kissed by the rain,
And hearts are the dearer where sorrow has lain;
The sky is the fairer that rain-clouds have swept,
And no eyes are so bright as the eyes that have wept.

Oh, they are so happy, these flowers that die,
They laugh in the sunshine, oh, why cannot I?
They droop in the shadow, they smile in the sun,
Yet they die in the winter when summer is done.

The lily is lovely, and fragrant her breath,
But the beauty she wears is the emblem of death;
The rain is so fair as it falls on the flowers,
But the clouds are the shadows of sunnier hours.

Why laugh in the sunshine, why smile in the rain?
The world is a shadow and life is a pain;
Why live in the summer, why dream in the sun,
To die in the winter, when summer is done?

Oh, there is the truth that each life underlies,
That baffles the poets and sages so wise;
Ah! there is the bitter that lies in the sweet
As we gather the roses that bloom at our feet.

Oh, flowers forgive me, I’m willful to-day,
Oh, take back the lesson you gave me I pray;
For I slept in the sunshine, I woke in the rain
And it banished forever my sorrow and pain.

Fannie Isabelle Sherrick

A Summer Ramble.

The quiet August noon has come,
A slumberous silence fills the sky,
The fields are still, the woods are dumb,
In glassy sleep the waters lie.

And mark yon soft white clouds that rest
Above our vale, a moveless throng;
The cattle on the mountain’s breast
Enjoy the grateful shadow long.

Oh, how unlike those merry hours
In early June when Earth laughs out,
When the fresh winds make love to flowers,
And woodlands sing and waters shout.

When in the grass sweet voices talk,
And strains of tiny music swell
From every moss-cup of the rock,
From every nameless blossom’s bell.

But now a joy too deep for sound,
A peace no other season knows,
Hushes the heavens and wraps the ground,
The blessing of supreme repose.

Away! I will not be, to-day,
The only slave of toil and care.
Away from desk and dust! away!
I’ll be as idle as the air.

Beneath the open sky abroad,
Among the plants and breathing things,
The sinless, peaceful works of God,
I’ll share the calm the season brings.

Come, thou, in whose soft eyes I see
The gentle meanings of thy heart,
One day amid the woods with me,
From men and all their cares apart.

And where, upon the meadow’s breast,
The shadow of the thicket lies,
The blue wild flowers thou gatherest
Shall glow yet deeper near thine eyes.

Come, and when mid the calm profound,
I turn, those gentle eyes to seek,
They, like the lovely landscape round,
Of innocence and peace shall speak.

Rest here, beneath the unmoving shade,
And on the silent valleys gaze,
Winding and widening, till they fade
In yon soft ring of summer haze.

The village trees their summits rear
Still as its spire, and yonder flock
At rest in those calm fields appear
As chiselled from the lifeless rock.

One tranquil mount the scene o’erlooks,
There the hushed winds their sabbath keep
While a near hum from bees and brooks
Comes faintly like the breath of sleep.

Well may the gazer deem that when,
Worn with the struggle and the strife,
And heart-sick at the wrongs of men,
The good forsakes the scene of life;

Like this deep quiet that, awhile,
Lingers the lovely landscape o’er,
Shall be the peace whose holy smile
Welcomes him to a happier shore.

William Cullen Bryant

Summer Schemes

When friendly summer calls again,
Calls again
Her little fifers to these hills,
We’ll go we two to that arched fane
Of leafage where they prime their bills
Before they start to flood the plain
With quavers, minims, shakes, and trills.
” We’ll go,” I sing; but who shall say
What may not chance before that day!

And we shall see the waters spring,
Waters spring
From chinks the scrubby copses crown;
And we shall trace their oncreeping
To where the cascade tumbles down
And sends the bobbing growths aswing,
And ferns not quite but almost drown.
” We shall,” I say; but who may sing
Of what another moon will bring!

Thomas Hardy

The Summer Sea

Soft soft wind, from out the sweet south sliding,
Waft thy silver cloud webs athwart the summer sea;
Thin thin threads of mist on dewy fingers twining
Weave a veil of dappled gauze to shade my babe and me.

Deep deep Love, within thine own abyss abiding,
Pour Thyself abroad, O Lord, on earth and air and sea;
Worn weary hearts within Thy holy temple hiding,
Shield from sorrow, sin, and shame my helpless babe and me.

From The Water-Babies. 1862

Charles Kingsley

A Summer Shaar.

It nobbut luks like tother day,
Sin Jane an me first met;
Yet fifty years have rolled away,
But still aw dooant forget.
Th’ Sundy schooil wor ovver,
An th’ rain wor teemin daan
An shoo had nowt to cover
Her Sundy hat an gaan.
Aw had an umberella,
Quite big enuff for two,
Soa aw made bold to tell her,
Shoo’d be sewer to get weet throo,
Unless shoo’d share it wi’ me.
Shoo blushed an sed, “Nay, Ben,
If they should see me wi’ thi,
What wod yo’re fowk say then?”
“Ne’er heed,” says aw, “Tha need’nt care
What other fowk may say;
Ther’s room for me an some to spare,
Soa let’s start on us way.”
Shoo tuk mi arm wi’ modest grace,
We booath felt rayther shy;
But then aw’m sewer ‘twor noa disgrace,
To keep her new clooas dry.
Aw tried to tawk on different things,
But ivvery thowt aw’d had,
Seem’d to ha flown as if they’d wings,
An left me speechless mad.
But when we gate cloise to her door,
Aw stopt an whispered, “Jane,
Aw’d like to walk wi’ thee some moor,
When it doesn’t chonce to rain.”
Shoo smiled an blushed an sed, “For shame!”
But aw tuk courage then.
Aw cared net if all th’ world should blame,
Aw meant to pleas misen,
For shoo wor th’ grandest lass i’th’ schooil
An th’ best, – noa matter what; –
Aw should ha been a sackless fooil,
To miss a chonce like that.
Soa oft we met to stroll an tawk,
Noa matter, rain or shine;
An one neet as we tuk a walk,
Aw ax’t her to be mine.
Shoo gave consent, an sooin we wed: –
Sin’ then we’ve had full share
Ov rough an smooth, yet still we’ve led
A life ov little care.
An monny a time aw say to Jane,
If things luk dull an bad; –
Cheer up! tha knows we owe to th’ rain
All th’ joys o’ life we’ve had.

John Hartley

The Summer Shower.

The eve is still and silent and above the tinted plain
The passing clouds are driving gentle showers of summer rain,
And the scent of hay-strewn meadows and the fresh-besprinkled ground
Is mingling with the perfume of the flowers that bloom around.

Off I wander and I stroke the gleeful spaniel at my side,
And, delighted with each other, do we ramble far and wide,
While a ditty is the tribute to the joy that gives it birth,
And the leaves, refreshed, are pouring their cool nectar to the earth.

Oh let me gaze again upon the moisture-laden sky,
Let me see the rolling masses, let me hear the plover’s cry,
While enveloping the distant mountain-summits like a shroud,
Like a head bent down and hoary, hangs a heavy wreath of cloud.

Let me gaze upon the sunshine as it breaks upon the mist,
As it bathes the stony mountains that the clouds have lately kissed,
As it tips the dripping leaflet with a scintillating gem,
Like the far-resplendent treasure in a monarch’s diadem.

Let me tread the shining pasture-lands, the greenest of the green,
Let me quaff the luscious perfume of the smiling, glistering scene,
While beautified and golden stands the ripe and waving grain,
And all Nature sings for gladness now that sunshine follows rain.

Lennox Amott

Summer Shower.

A drop fell on the apple tree,
Another on the roof;
A half a dozen kissed the eaves,
And made the gables laugh.

A few went out to help the brook,
That went to help the sea.
Myself conjectured, Were they pearls,
What necklaces could be!

The dust replaced in hoisted roads,
The birds jocoser sung;
The sunshine threw his hat away,
The orchards spangles hung.

The breezes brought dejected lutes,
And bathed them in the glee;
The East put out a single flag,
And signed the fete away.

Emily Elizabeth Dickinson

Summer Song

“Murmuring, ‘twixt a murmur and moan,
Many a tune in a single tone,
For every ear with a secret true–
The sea-shell wants to whisper to you.”

“Yes–I hear it–far and faint,
Like thin-drawn prayer of drowsy saint;
Like the muffled sounds of a summer rain;
Like the wash of dreams in a weary brain.”

“By smiling lip and fixed eye,
You are hearing a song within the sigh:
The murmurer has many a lovely phrase–
Tell me, darling, the words it says.”

“I hear a wind on a boatless main
Sigh like the last of a vanishing pain;
On the dreaming waters dreams the moon–
But I hear no words in the doubtful tune.”

“If it tell thee not that I love thee well,
‘Tis a senseless, wrinkled, ill-curved shell:
If it be not of love, why sigh or sing?
‘Tis a common, mechanical, stupid thing!”

“It murmurs, it whispers, with prophet voice
Of a peace that comes, of a sealed choice;
It says not a word of your love to me,
But it tells me I love you eternally.”

George MacDonald

Summer Song Of The Swallow.

You will journey many a weary day and long,
Ere you will see so restful and sweet a place,
As this, my home, my nest so downy and warm,
The labor of many happy and hopeful days;
But its low brown walls are laid and softly lined,
And oh, full happily now my rest I take,
And care not I when it lightly rocks in the wind,
For the branch above though it bends will never break;
And close by my side rings out the voice of my mate – my lover;
Oh, the days are long, and the days are bright – and
Summer will last forever.

Now the stream that divides us from perfect bliss
Seems floating past so narrow – so narrow,
You could span its wave such a morn as this,
With a moment winged like a golden arrow,
And the sweet wind waves all the tasselled broom,
And over the hill does it loitering come,
Oh, the perfect light – oh, the perfect bloom,
And the silence is thrilled with the murmurous hum
Of the bees a-kissing the red-lipped clover;
Oh, the days are long, and the days are bright – and
Summer will last forever.

When the West is a golden glow, and lower
The sun is sinking large and round,
Like a golden goblet spilling o’er,
Glittering drops that drip to the ground –
Then I spread my lustrous wings and cleave the air
Sailing high with a motion calm and slow,
Far down the green earth lies like a picture fair,
Then with rapid wing I sink in the shining glow;
A-chasing the glinting, gleaming drops; oh, a diver
Am I in a clear and golden sea, and Summer will last forever.

The leaves with a pleasant rustling sound are stirred
Of a night, and the stars are calm and bright;
And I know, although I am only a little bird,
One large serious star is watching me all the night,
For when the dewy leaves are waved by the breeze,
I see it forever smiling down on me.
So I cover my head with my wing, and sleep in peace,
As blessed as ever a little bird can be;
And the silver moonlight falls over land and sea and river,
And the nights are cool, and the nights are still, and
Summer will last forever.

I think you would journey many and many a day,
Ere you so contented and blest a bird would see;
Not all the wealth of the world could lure my love away,
For my brown little nest is all the world to me;
And care not I if brighter bowers there are
Lying close to the sun – where tall palms pierce the sky;
Oh, you would journey a weary way and a far,
Ere you would behold a bird so blest as I;
And singing close to my side is my mate – my kin – my lover;
Oh, the days are long, and the days are bright – and
Summer will last forever.

Marietta Holley

Summer Songs


How thick the grass,
How green the shade –
All for love
And lovers made.

Wood-lilies white
As hidden lace –
Open your bodice,
That’s their place.

See how the sun-god
The summer lying
Deep in flowers;

With burning kisses
Of bright gold
Fills her young womb
With joy untold;

And all the world
Is lad and lass,
A blue sky
And a couch of grass.

Summer is here –
let us drain
It all! it may
Not come again.


How the leaves thicken
On the boughs,
And the birds make
Their lyric vows.

O the beating, breaking
Heart of things,
The pulse and passion –
How it sings.

How it burns and flames
And showers,
Lusts and laughs, flowers
And deflowers.


Summer came
Rose on rose;
Leaf on leaf,
Summer goes.

Summer came,
Song on song;
O summer had
A golden tongue.

Summer goes,
Sigh on sigh;
Not a rose
Sees him die.

Richard Le Gallienne

Summer Stillness

The stars are golden instants in the deep
Flawless expanse of night: the moon is set:
The river sleeps, entranced, a smooth cool sleep
Seeming so motionless that I forget
The hollow booming bridges, where it slides,
Dark with the sad looks that it bears along,
Towards a sea whose unreturning tides
Ravish the sighted ships and the sailors’ song.

Aldous Leonard Huxley

Summer Storm

The panther wind
Leaps out of the night,
The snake of lightning
Is twisting and white,
The lion of thunder
Roars, and we
Sit still and content
Under a tree,
We have met fate together
And love and pain,
Why should we fear
The wrath of the rain!

Sara Teasdale

Summer Studies. I.

The cock hath crow’d. I hear the doors unbarr’d;
Down to the moss-grown porch my way I take,
And hear, beside the well within the yard,
Full many an ancient, quacking, splashing drake,
And gabbling goose, and noisy brood-hen – all
Responding to yon strutting gobbler’s call.

The dew is thick upon the velvet grass –
The porch-rails hold it in translucent drops,
And as the cattle from th’ enclosure pass,
Each one, alternate, slowly halts and crops
The tall, green spears, with all their dewy load,
Which grow beside the well-known pasture-road.

A lustrous polish is on all the leaves –
The birds flit in and out with varied notes –
The noisy swallows twitter ‘neath the eaves –
A partridge-whistle thro’ the garden floats,
While yonder gaudy peacock harshly cries,
As red and gold flush all the eastern skies.

Up comes the sun: thro’ the dense leaves a spot
Of splendid light drinks up the dew; the breeze
Which late made leafy music dies; the day grows hot,
And slumbrous sounds come from marauding bees:
The burnish’d river like a sword-blade shines,
Save where ’tis shadow’d by the solemn pines.

James Barron Hope

Summer Studies. II.

Over the farm is brooding silence now –
No reaper’s song – no raven’s clangor harsh –
No bleat of sheep – no distant low of cow –
No croak of frogs within the spreading marsh –
No bragging cock from litter’d farm-yard crows,
The scene is steep’d in silence and repose.

A trembling haze hangs over all the fields –
The panting cattle in the river stand
Seeking the coolness which its wave scarce yields.
It seems a Sabbath thro’ the drowsy land:
So hush’d is all beneath the Summer’s spell,
I pause and listen for some faint church bell.

The leaves are motionless – the song-bird’s mute –
The very air seems somnolent and sick:
The spreading branches with o’er-ripen’d fruit
Show in the sunshine all their clusters thick,
While now and then a mellow apple falls
With a dull sound within the orchard’s walls.

The sky has but one solitary cloud,
Like a dark island in a sea of light;
The parching furrows ‘twixt the corn-rows ploughed
Seem fairly dancing in my dazzled sight,
While over yonder road a dusty haze
Grows reddish purple in the sultry blaze.

James Barron Hope

Summer Studies. III.

That solitary cloud grows dark and wide,
While distant thunder rumbles in the air,
A fitful ripple breaks the river’s tide –
The lazy cattle are no longer there,
But homeward come in long procession slow,
With many a bleat and many a plaintive low.

Darker and wider-spreading o’er the west
Advancing clouds, each in fantastic form,
And mirror’d turrets on the river’s breast
Tell in advance the coming of a storm –
Closer and brighter glares the lightning’s flash
And louder, nearer, sounds the thunder’s crash.

The air of evening is intensely hot,
The breeze feels heated as it fans my brows –
Now sullen rain-drops patter down like shot –
Strike in the grass, or rattle ‘mid the boughs.
A sultry lull: and then a gust again,
And now I see the thick-advancing rain.

It fairly hisses as it comes along,
And where it strikes bounds up again in spray
As if ’twere dancing to the fitful song
Made by the trees, which twist themselves and sway
In contest with the wind which rises fast,
Until the breeze becomes a furious blast.

And now, the sudden, fitful storm has fled,
The clouds lie pil’d up in the splendid west,
In massive shadow tipp’d with purplish red,
Crimson or gold. The scene is one of rest;
And on the bosom of yon still lagoon
I see the crescent of the pallid moon.

James Barron Hope

Summer – The Second Pastoral; or Alexis

A Shepherd’s Boy (he seeks no better name)
Led forth his flocks along the silver Thame,
Where dancing sun-beams n the waters play’d,
And verdant alders form’d a quiv’ring shade.
Soft as he mourn’d, the streams forgot to flow,
The flocks around a dumb compassion show,
The Naiads wept in ev’ry wat’ry bow’r,
And Jove consented in a silent show’r.
Accept, O Garth, the Muse’s early lays,
That adds this wreath of Ivy to thy Bays;
Hear what from Love unpractis’d hearts endure,
From Love, the sole disease thou canst not cure.
Ye shady beeches, and ye cooling streams,
Defence from Phoebus, not from Cupid’s beams,
To you I mourn, nor to the deaf I sing,
The woods shall answer, and their echo ring.
The gills and rocks attend my doleful lay,
Why art thou prouder and more hard than they?
The bleating sheep with my complaints agree,
They parch’d with heat, and I inflam’d by thee.
The sultry Sirius burns the thirsty plains,
While in thy heart eternal winter reigns.
Where stray ye, Muses, in what lawn or grove,
While your Alexis pines in hopeless love?
In those fair fields where sacred Isis glides,
Or else where Cam his winding vales divides?
As in the crystal spring I view my face,
Fresh rising blushes paint the wat’ry glass;
But since those graces please thy eyes no more,
I shun the fountains which I sought before.
Once I was skill’d in ev’ry herb that grew,
And ev’ry plant that drinks the morning dew;
Ah wretched shepherd, what avails thy art,
To cure thy lambs, but not to heal thy heart!
Let other swains attend the rural care,
Feed fairer flocks, or richer fleeces shear:
But nigh yon’ mountain let me tune my lays,
Embrace my Love, and bind my brows with bays.
That flute is mine which Colin’s tuneful breath
Inspir’d when living, and bequeath’d in death;
He said; Alexis, take this pipe, the same
That taught the groves my Rosalinda’s name:
But now the reeds shall hang on yonder tree,
For ever silent, since despis’d by thee.
Oh! were I made by some transforming pow’r
The captive bird that sings within thy bow’r!
Then might my voice thy list’ning ears employ,
And I those kisses he receives, enjoy.
And yet my numbers please the rural throng,
Rough Satyrs dance, and Pan applauds the song:
The Nymphs, forsaking ev’ry cave and spring,
Their early fruit, and milk-white turtles bring;
Each am’rous nymph prefers her gifts in vain,
On you their gifts are all bestow’d again.
For you the swains the fairest flow’rs design,
And in one garland all their beauties join;
Accept the wreath which you deserve alone,
In whom all beauties are compris’d in one.
See what delights in sylvan scenes appear!
Descending Gods have found Elysium here.
In woods bright Venus with Adonis stray’d,
And chaste Diana haunts the forest shade.
Come lovely nymph, and bless the silent hours,
When swains from shearing seek their nightly bow’rs;
When weary reapers quit the sultry field,
And crown’d with corn, their thanks to Ceres yield.
This harmless grove no lurking viper hides,
But in my breast the serpent Love abides.
Here bees from blossoms sip the rosy dew,
But your Alexis knows no sweets but you.
Oh deign to visit our forsaken seats,
The mossy fountains, and the green retreats!
Where-e’er you walk, cool gales shall fan the glade,
Trees, where you sit, shall crowd into a shade,
Where-e’er you tread, the blushing flow’rs shall rise,
And all things flourish where you turn your eyes.
Oh! How I long with you to pass my days,
Invoke the muses, and resound your praise;
Your praise the birds shall chant in ev’ry grove,
And winds shall waft it to the pow’rs above.
But wou’d you sing, and rival Orpheus’ strain,
The wond’ring forests soon shou’d dance again,
The moving mountains hear the pow’rful call,
And headlong streams hang list’ning in their fall!
But see, the shepherds shun the noon-day heat,
The lowing herds to murm’ring brooks retreat,
To closer shades the panting flocks remove,
Ye Gods! And is there no relief for Love?
But soon the sun with milder rays descends
To the cool ocean, where his journey ends;
On me Love’s fiercer flames for every prey,
By night he scorches, as he burns by day.

Alexander Pope

Summer Tints.

How sweet I’ve wander’d bosom-deep in grain,
When Summer’s mellowing pencil sweeps his shade
Of ripening tinges o’er the checquer’d plain:
Light tawny oat-lands with a yellow blade;
And bearded corn, like armies on parade;
Beans lightly scorch’d, that still preserve their green;
And nodding lands of wheat in bleachy brown;
And streaking banks, where many a maid and clown
Contrast a sweetness to the rural scene,–
Forming the little haycocks up and down:
While o’er the face of nature softly swept
The ling’ring wind, mixing the brown and green
So sweet, that shepherds from their bowers have crept,
And stood delighted musing o’er the scene.

John Clare

The Summer Webs.

The summer webs that float and shine,
The summer dews that fall,
Tho’ light they be, this heart of mine
Is lighter still than all.
It tells me every cloud is past
Which lately seemed to lour;
That Hope hath wed young Joy at last,
And now’s their nuptial hour!

With light thus round, within, above,
With naught to wake one sigh,
Except the wish that all we love
Were at this moment nigh,–
It seems as if life’s brilliant sun
Had stopt in full career,
To make this hour its brightest one,
And rest in radiance here.

Thomas Moore

Summer Wind.

It is a sultry day; the sun has drunk
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 gayly 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.

William Cullen Bryant

Summer Winds

The wind waves oer the meadows green
And shakes my own wild flowers
And shifts about the moving scene
Like the life of summer hours;
The little bents with reedy head,
The scarce seen shapes of flowers,
All kink about like skeins of thread
In these wind-shaken hours.

All stir and strife and life and bustle
In everything around one sees;
The rushes whistle, sedges rustle,
The grass is buzzing round like bees;
The butterflies are tossed about
Like skiffs upon a stormy sea;
The bees are lost amid the rout
And drop in [their] perplexity.

Wilt thou be mine, thou bonny lass?
Thy drapery floats so gracefully;
We’ll walk along the meadow grass,
We’ll stand beneath the willow tree.
We’ll mark the little reeling bee
Along the grassy ocean rove,
Tossed like a little boat at sea,
And interchange our vows of love.

John Clare

Summer’s Armies.

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?

Emily Elizabeth Dickinson

Summer’s Evening. (From The Villager’s Verse-Book.)

As homeward by the evening star
I pass along the plain,
I see the taper’s light afar,
Shine through our cottage pane.

My brothers and my sisters dear,
The child upon the knee,
Spring when my hastening steps they hear,
And smile to welcome me.

But when the fire is growing dim,
And mother’s labours cease,
I fold my hands, repeat my hymn,
And lay me down in peace.

William Lisle Bowles

A Summer’s Night

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.

Paul Laurence Dunbar

Summer’s Obsequies.

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!

Emily Elizabeth Dickinson

So, here is the greatest compilation of poems about summer.

Let me know which one is your favorite! 😉


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