Poetry Sunday: The Breezes of June by Paul Hamilton Hayne

The soft breezes of a late June afternoon are much appreciated as I sit in the swing on my patio at the end of the day. It's the best time of day to venture out just now. Then, or else the early morning. Only a very foolish person would spend much time outside in the mid-day heat. Either a foolish person or one whose job requires him/her to endure the triple-digit temperatures. Those who must earn their living under this brutal June sky have my sympathy and concern. 

If we make it through the heat of the day, those late afternoon "sweet and soft" breezes that whisper through the leaves of the trees are our reward. But if June comes, can July and August be far behind? It doesn't bear thinking about!

The Breezes of June

by Paul Hamilton Hayne 

On! sweet and soft,
Returning oft,
As oft they pass benignly,
The warm June breezes come and go,
Through golden rounds of murmurous flow,
At length to sigh,
Wax faint and die,
Far down the panting primrose sky,

Though soft and low
These breezes blow,
Their voice is passion's wholly;
And ah! our hearts go forth to meet
The burden of their music sweet,
Ere yet it sighs,
Faints, falters, dies
Down the rich path of sunset skies—
Half glad, half melancholy!

Bend, bend thine ear!
Oh! hark and hear
What vows each blithe new-comer!
Each warm June breeze that comes goes,
Is whispering to the royal rose,
And star-pale lily, trembling nigh,
Ere yet in subtlest harmony
Its murmurs die,
Wax faint and die
On thy flushed bosom, passionate sky,
Of youthful summer!


  1. The heat is daunting indeed, Dorothy. Yesterday it was thirty degrees here and by mid afternoon everyone taking part on my full day's outing was ready to call it a day, so we did!

    1. We cling to our Fahrenheit scale here so your 30 degrees would translate to 86. Not cool on any scale, especially when you are being active in such weather.

  2. For a couple of summers, my husband was one of those outdoor workers. One of those years was when we lived in Wichita, Kansas in 1980, a year when Wichita endured a heat wave for some six straight weeks. Our hearts very much goes out to those workers and everyone else trapped under the heat dome right now. Breezes don't do much good after a certain temperature.

  3. It's a beautiful poem, but our June breezes have been hot dry winds, which I do not love.

    1. Exactly. There is really no respite except sundown.


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