"Summer Wind"

By William Cullen Bryant

It is a sultry day; the sun has drunk

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 scorching 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 gazer’s 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 his 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, chestnut and oak

Are tossing their green boughs about. He comes;

Lo, where the grassy meadow runs in waves!

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 their fragrance; and he brings

Music of birds, and rustling of young boughs,

And sound 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 gayly 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.

Adam Thompson