A Night In June

A poem by Madison Julius Cawein

I.

White as a lily moulded of Earth's milk
That eve the moon bloomed in a hyacinth sky;
Soft in the gleaming glens the wind went by,
Faint as a phantom clothed in unseen silk:
Bright as a naiad's leap, from shine to shade
The runnel twinkled through the shaken brier;
Above the hills one long cloud, pulsed with fire,
Flashed like a great enchantment-welded blade.
And when the western sky seemed some weird land,
And night a witching spell at whose command
One sloping star fell green from heav'n; and deep
The warm rose opened for the moth to sleep;
Then she, consenting, laid her hands in his,
And lifted up her lips for their first kiss.

II.

There where they part, the porch's steps are strewn
With wind-blown petals of the purple vine;
Athwart the porch the shadow of a pine
Cleaves the white moonlight; and like some calm rune
Heaven says to Earth, shines the majestic moon;
And now a meteor draws a lilac line
Across the welkin, as if God would sign
The perfect poem of this night of June.
The wood-wind stirs the flowering chestnut-tree,
Whose curving blossoms strew the glimmering grass
Like crescents that wind-wrinkled waters glass;
And, like a moonstone in a frill of flame,
The dewdrop trembles on the peony,
As in a lover's heart his sweetheart's name.

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