Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Summer Sunshine / John Askham

The Summer Sunshine

Scattering all sadness
    As the night takes wing,
Waking into gladness
    Every living thing.

On the hill-tops glancing,
    Stealing o'er the meads,
On the river dancing,
    Through the bending reeds.

On the mountain burning
    Like a sacrifice -
All the landscape turning
    To a paradise.

Village roofs caressing
    With its gentle smile;
Falling like a blessing
    On the holy pile.

Gladdening with its beauty
    The simple peasant's breast,
As he goeth to his duty,
    As he cometh to his rest.

Gilding scented bowers,
    Silvering each spray,
Kissing from the flowers
    All their tears away.

Into glad commotion
    Rousing up the sea,
Till the mighty ocean
    Sparkles gloriously.

In the blackened city,
    In the pent-up town,
With a glance of pity
    Looking sadly down,

Where wild vice and folly
    Their mad orgies hold,
And on sights unholy,
    Better left untold.

To creation bringing
    Hope without alloy,
O'er the wide earth flinging
    Universal joy.

John Askham (1825-1894)
from Descriptive Poems, miscellaneous pieces, etc., 1866

[Poem is in the public domain worldwide]

John Askham biography

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