Loud is the Summer's busy song,
The smallest breeze can find a tongue,
While insects of each tiny size
Grow teazing with their melodies,
Till noon burns with its blistering breath
Around, and day lies still as death.
The busy noise of man and brute
Is on a sudden lost and mute;
Even the brook that leaps along,
Seems weary of its bubbling song,
And, so soft its waters creep,
Tired silence sinks in sounder sleep.
The cricket on its bank is dumb;
The very flies forget to hum;
And, save the wagon rocking round,
The landscape sleeps without a sound.
The breeze is stopt, the lazy bough
Hath not a leaf that dances now;
The tottergrass upon the hill,
And spiders' threads, are standing still;
The feathers, dropped from moorhen's wing
Which to the water's surface cling,
Are steadfast, and as heavy seem
As stones beneath them in the stream;
Hawkweed and groundsel's fanning downs
Unruffled keep their seedy crowns;
And in the oven-heated air
Not one light thing is floating there,
Save that to the earnest eye,
The restless heat seems twittering by.
Noon swoons beneath the heat it made,
And flowers e'en wither in the shade;
Until the sun slopes in the west,
Like weary traveller, glad to rest,
On pillowed clouds of many hues;
Then Nature's voice its joy renews,
And chequer'd field and grassy plain
Hum, with their summer songs again,
A requiem to the day's decline.
Whose setting sunbeams coolly shine
As welcome to day's feeble powers
As falling dews to thirsty flowers.
John Clare (1793-1864)
The Oxford Book of Regency Verse (1928), ed. H.S. Milford, # 282.
Lane Core Jr. CIW P Tue. 07/01/08 08:19:48 PM
Categorized as Literary.