A poem by Madison Julius Cawein


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.

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