The mid-day hour of twelve the clock counts o'er,
A sultry stillness lulls the air asleep;
The very buzz of flies is heard no more,
Nor faintest wrinkles o'er the waters creep.
Like one large sheet of glass the waters shine,
Reflecting on their face the burnt sunbeam:
The very fish their sporting play decline,
Seeking the willow-shadows 'side the stream.
And, where the hawthorn branches o'er the pool,
The little bird, forsaking song and nest,
Flutters on dripping twigs his limbs to cool,
And splashes in the stream his burning breast.
O, free from thunder, for a sudden shower,
To cherish nature in this noon-day hour!