What joy you take in making hotness hotter,
In emphasising dulness with your buzz,
Making monotony more monotonous!
When Summer comes, and drouth hath dried the water
In all the creeks, we hear your ragged rasp
Filling the stillness. Or, as urchins beat
A stagnant pond whereon the bubbles gasp,
Your switch-like music whips the midday heat.
O bur of sound caught in the Summer's hair,
We hear you everywhere!
We hear you in the vines and berry-brambles,
Along the unkempt lanes, among the weeds,
Amid the shadeless meadows, gray with seeds,
And by the wood 'round which the rail-fence rambles,
Sawing the sunlight with your sultry saw.
Or, like to tomboy truants, at their play
With noisy mirth among the barn's deep straw,
You sing away the careless summer-day.
O brier-like voice that clings in idleness
To Summer's drowsy dress!
You tramp of insects, vagrant and unheeding,
Improvident, who of the summer make
One long green mealtime, and for winter take
No care, aye singing or just merely feeding!
Happy-go-lucky vagabond, 'though frost
Shall pierce, ere long, your green coat or your brown,
And pinch your body, let no song be lost,
But as you lived into your grave go down
Like some small poet with his little rhyme,
Forgotten of all time.