Summer Studies. II.

A poem by James Barron Hope

Over the farm is brooding silence now -
No reaper's song - no raven's clangor harsh -
No bleat of sheep - no distant low of cow -
No croak of frogs within the spreading marsh -
No bragging cock from litter'd farm-yard crows,
The scene is steep'd in silence and repose.

A trembling haze hangs over all the fields -
The panting cattle in the river stand
Seeking the coolness which its wave scarce yields.
It seems a Sabbath thro' the drowsy land:
So hush'd is all beneath the Summer's spell,
I pause and listen for some faint church bell.

The leaves are motionless - the song-bird's mute -
The very air seems somnolent and sick:
The spreading branches with o'er-ripen'd fruit
Show in the sunshine all their clusters thick,
While now and then a mellow apple falls
With a dull sound within the orchard's walls.

The sky has but one solitary cloud,
Like a dark island in a sea of light;
The parching furrows 'twixt the corn-rows ploughed
Seem fairly dancing in my dazzled sight,
While over yonder road a dusty haze
Grows reddish purple in the sultry blaze.

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