William Cullen Bryant

Summer Wind

It is a sultry day; the sun has drank 
The dew that lay upon the morning grass, 
There is no rustling in the lofty elm 
That canopies my dwelling, and its shade 
Scarce cools me. All is silent, save the faint 
And interrupted murmur of the bee, 
Settling on the sick flowers, and then again 
Instantly on the wing. The plants around 
Feel the too potent fervors; the tall maize 
Rolls up its long green leaves; the clover droops 
Its tender foliage, and declines its blooms. 
But far in the fierce sunshine tower the hills, 
With all their growth of woods, silent and stern, 
As if the scortching heat and dazzling light 
Were but an element they loved. Bright clouds, 
Motionless pillars of the brazen heaven;-- 
Their bases on the mountains--their white tops 
Shining in the far ether--fire the air 
With a reflected radiance, and make turn 
The gazerís eye away. For me, I lie 
Languidly in the shade, where the thick turf, 
Yet virgin from the kisses of the sun, 
Retains some freshness, and I woo the wind 
That still delays its coming. Why so slow, 
Gentle and voluble spirit of the air? 
Oh, come and breathe upon the fainting earth 
Coolness and life. Is it that in his caves 
He hears me? See, on yonder woody ridge, 
The pine is bending his proud top, and now, 
Among the nearer groves, chesnut and oak 
Are tossing their green boughs about. He comes! 
Lo, where the grassy meadow runs in wives! 
The deep distressful silence of the scene 
Breaks up with mingling of unnumbered sounds 
And universal motion. He is come, 
Shaking a shower of blossoms from the shrubs, 
And bearing on the fragrance; and he brings 
Music of birds, and rustling of young boughs, 
And soun of swaying branches, and the voice 
Of distant waterfalls. All the green herbs 
Are stirring in his breath; a thousand flowers, 
By the road-side and the borders of the brook, 
Nod gaily to each other; glossy leaves 
Are twinkling in the sun, as if the dew 
Were on them yet, and silver waters break 
Into small waves and sparkle as he comes.

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