Now Lucifer ignites her taper bright
To greet the wild-flowered Dawn,
Who leads the tasseled Summer draped with light
Down heaven’s gilded lawn.
Hark to the minstrels of the woods,
Tuning glad harps in haunted solitudes!
List to the rillet’s music soft,
The tree’s hushed song:
Flushed from her star aloft
Comes blue-eyed Summer stepping meek along.
And as the lusty lover leads her in,
Clad in soft blushes red,
With breezy lips her love he tries to win,
Doth many a tear-drop shed:
While airy sighs, dyed in his heart,
Like Cupid’s arrows, flame-tipped o’er her dart,
He bends his yellow head and craves
The timid maid
For one sweet kiss, and laves
Her rose-crowned locks with tears until ’tis paid.
Come to the forest or the musky meadows
Brown with their mellow grain;
Come where the cascades shake green shadows,
Where tawny orchards reign.
Come where fall reapers ply the scythe,
Where golden sheaves are heaped by damsels blithe:
Come to the rock-rough mountain old,
Tree-pierced and wild;
Where freckled flowers paint the wold,
Hail laughing Summer, sunny-haired, blonde child!
Come where the dragon-flies in coats of blue
Flit o’er the wildwood streams,
And fright the wild bee from the honey-dew
Where if long-sipping dreams.
Come where the touch-me-nots shy peep
Gold-horned and speckled from the cascades steep:
Come where the daisies by the rustic bridge
Display their eyes,
Or where the lilied sedge
From emerald forest-pools, lance-like, thick rise.
Come where the wild deer feed within the brake
As red as oak and strong;
Come where romantic echoes wildly wake
Old hills to mystic song.
Come to the vine-hung woodlands hoary,
Come to the realms of hunting song and story;
But come when Summer decks the land
With garb of gold,
With colors myriad as the sand –
A birth-fair child, tho’ thousand summers old.
Come where the trees extend their shining arms
Unto the star-sown skies;
Displaying wrinkled age in limb-gnarled charms
When Night, moon-eyed, brown lies
Upon their bending lances seen
With fluttered pennons in the moon’s broad sheen.
Come where the pearly dew is spread
Upon the rose;
Come where the fire-flies wed
The drowsy Night flame-stained with sudden glows.
Come to the vine-dark dingle’s whispering glens
White with their blossoms pale;
Come to the willowed weed-haired lakes and fens;
Come to the tedded vale.
Come all, and greet the brown-browed child
With lips of honey red as a poppy wild,
Clothed in her vernal robes of old,
Her hair with wheat
All tawny as with gold;
Hail Summer with her sandaled grain-bound feet!
-Madison Julius Cawein