Saturday, June 22, 2013

Ballade of Midsummer Days and Nights /
William Ernest Henley


Ballade of Midsummer Days and Nights

With a ripple of leaves and a tinkle of streams
The full world rolls in a rhythm of praise,
And the winds are one with the clouds and beams —
Midsummer days! Midsummer days!
The dusk grows vast; in a purple haze,
While the West from a rapture of sunset rights,
Faint stars their exquisite lamps upraise —
Midsummer nights! O midsummer nights!

The wood's green heart is a nest of dreams,
The lush grass thickens and springs and sways,
The rathe wheat rustles, the landscape gleams —
Midsummer days! Midsummer days!
In the stilly fields, in the stilly ways,
All secret shadows and mystic lights,
Late lovers murmur and linger and gaze —
Midsummer nights! O midsummer nights!

There's a music of bells from the trampling teams,
Wild skylarks hover, the gorses blaze,
The rich, ripe rose as with incense steams —
Midsummer days! Midsummer days!
A soul from the honeysuckle strays,
And the nightingale as from prophet heights
Sings to the Earth of her million Mays —
Midsummer nights! O midsummer nights!

Envoy

And it's O, for my dear and the charm that stays —
Midsummer days! Midsummer days!
It's O, for my Love and the dark that plights —
Midsummer nights! O midsummer nights!

~~
William Ernest Henley
from A Book of Verses, 1893

[Poem is in the public domain worldwide]

William Ernest Henley biography

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