Poetry Sunday: Country Summer

As one who has spent many summers in the country, I found the imagery of this poem especially evocative.

Country Summer


Now the rich cherry, whose sleek wood, 
And top with silver petals traced 
Like a strict box its gems encased, 
Has spilt from out that cunning lid, 
All in an innocent green round, 
Those melting rubies which it hid; 
With moss ripe-strawberry-encrusted, 
So birds get half, and minds lapse merry 
To taste that deep-red, lark’s-bite berry, 
And blackcap bloom is yellow-dusted. 

The wren that thieved it in the eaves 
A trailer of the rose could catch 
To her poor droopy sloven thatch, 
And side by side with the wren’s brood— 
O lovely time of beggar’s luck— 
Opens the quaint and hairy bud; 
And full and golden is the yield 
Of cows that never have to house, 
But all night nibble under boughs, 
Or cool their sides in the moist field. 

Into the rooms flow meadow airs, 
The warm farm baking smell’s blown round. 
Inside and out, and sky and ground 
Are much the same; the wishing star, 
Hesperus, kind and early born, 
Is risen only finger-far; 
All stars stand close in summer air, 
And tremble, and look mild as amber; 
When wicks are lighted in the chamber, 
They are like stars which settled there. 

Now straightening from the flowery hay, 
Down the still light the mowers look, 
Or turn, because their dreaming shook, 
And they waked half to other days, 
When left alone in the yellow stubble 
The rusty-coated mare would graze. 
Yet thick the lazy dreams are born, 
Another thought can come to mind, 
But like the shivering of the wind, 
Morning and evening in the corn.


  1. Thinking of many lazy summer afternoons in the countryside of Northwest Arkansas, when it was too hot to do anything. I would sit in a shaded area with a glass of iced tea and watch our chickens. Alana ramblinwitham.blogspot.com

    1. Sitting in the shade with a glass of iced tea watching chickens sounds like a nearly perfect formula for passing these hot summer days.

  2. I love cherries. We buy them every week at this time of year. I used to love summer best in New Jersey and Michigan. In my current location spring is better. But now I am a gardener and that hot sun directly overhead feels like my enemy-:(

    1. Yes, with temperatures in the upper 90s to low 100s the sun definitely seems like an enemy. Even with all the rain we've had through the spring, the garden dries out fast in these conditions and the plants, as well as the gardener, begin to suffer.

  3. Thank you for this enjoyable post

  4. Oh...Lazy summer days...I like 'em, though not so much when the temperatures reach higher than 85 F, or the humidity makes everything sticky and uncomfortable.

    1. Indeed. It is like a sauna outside my front door today.


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