Classic Summer Poems

...As the shadows deepen under the tomal trees, and the dusk
gathers on the river-banks; when the milkmaids, while crossing the
turbulent water, tremble with fear; and loud peacocks, with tails
outspread, dance in the forest, he watchers the summer clouds.
When the April night is sweet as a fresh-blown flower, he
disappears in the forest with a peacock's plume in his hair; the
swing ropes are twined with flowers on the branches; the south wind
throbs with music, and the merry shepherd boys crowd on the banks
of the blue river...

Rabindranath Tagore

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In The Summer
by Nizar Qabbani

In the summer
I stretch out on the shore
And think of you
Had I told the sea
What I felt for you,
It would have left its shores,
Its shells,
Its fish,
And followed me.

*******************************

Photo by Peter Lik
Emily Dickinson


Summer — we all have seen —
A few of us — believed —
A few — the more aspiring
Unquestionably loved —

But Summer does not care —
She goes her spacious way
As eligible as the moon
To our Temerity —

The Doom to be adored —
The Affluence conferred —
Unknown as to an Ecstasy
The Embryo endowed —

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Summer Sun

from A Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson (1885)


Great is the sun, and wide he goes
Through empty heaven with repose;
And in the blue and glowing days
More thick than rain he showers his rays.

Though closer still the blinds we pull
To keep the shady parlour cool,
Yet he will find a chink or two
To slip his golden fingers through.

The dusty attic spider-clad
He, through the keyhole, maketh glad;
And through the broken edge of tiles
Into the laddered hay-loft smiles.

Meantime his golden face around
He bares to all the garden ground,
And sheds a warm and glittering look
Among the ivy’s inmost nook.

Above the hills, along the blue,
Round the bright air with footing true,
To please the child, to paint the rose,
The gardener of the World, he goes.

Summer is still with us. Let us enjoy the last moments of this beautiful season.


The Summer Day
Who made the world?

Who made the swan, and the black bear?

Who made the grasshopper?

This grasshopper, I mean the one who is

eating sugar out of my hand,

who is moving her jaws back and forth

instead of up and down -

who is gazing around with her

enormous and complicated eyes.

Now she lifts her pale forearms

and thoroughly washes her face.

Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.

I don't know exactly what a prayer is.

I do know how to pay attention, how to fall into the grass,

how to kneel down in the grass, how to be idle and blessed,

how to stroll through the fields,

which is what I have been doing all day.

Tell me, what else should I have done?

Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?

Tell me, what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life?


Mary Oliver
***************

“Wealth, the beauty of youth and flowers are guests for only a few days. Like the leaves of the water-lily, they wither and fade and finally die.”

Sri Guru Granth Sahi
*********************

Summer is very slowly coming to an end, but let us enjoy every moment of this very beautiful summer while it is still here.

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When the lotus opened, I didn't notice and went away empty handed.

Only now and again do I suddenly sit up from my dreams to smell a strange fragrance. It comes on the south wind, a vague hint that makes me ache with longing, like the eager breath of summer wanting to be completed. I didn't know what was so near, or that it was mine.

The perfect sweetness blossoming in the depth of my heart.

Rabindranath Tagore

A Red, Red Rose


O my Luve's like a red, red rose
That's newly sprung in June:
O my Luve's like the melodie
That's sweetly play'd in tune!

As fair thou art, my bonnie lass,
So deep in love am I:
And I will love thee still, my dear,
Till a' the seas gang dry:

Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt with the sun;
I will luve thee still my dear,
When the sands of life shall run.

And fare thee weel, my only Luve,
And fare thee weel a while!
And I will come again , my Luve,
Tho' it were ten thousand mile.

Robert Burns

Summer Sun

from A Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson (1885)


Great is the sun, and wide he goes
Through empty heaven with repose;
And in the blue and glowing days
More thick than rain he showers his rays.

Though closer still the blinds we pull
To keep the shady parlour cool,
Yet he will find a chink or two
To slip his golden fingers through.

The dusty attic spider-clad
He, through the keyhole, maketh glad;
And through the broken edge of tiles
Into the laddered hay-loft smiles.

Meantime his golden face around
He bares to all the garden ground,
And sheds a warm and glittering look
Among the ivy’s inmost nook.

Above the hills, along the blue,
Round the bright air with footing true,
To please the child, to paint the rose,
The gardener of the World, he goes.



I borrowed this image from your Vienna post, Inda.
I hope you don't mind, it is so summery and pretty.
This is my delight,
thus to wait and watch at the wayside
where shadow chases light
and the rain comes in the wake of the summer.

Messengers, with tidings from unknown skies,
greet me and speed along the road.
My heart is glad within,
and the breath of the passing breeze is sweet.

From dawn till dusk I sit here before my door,
and I know that of a sudden
the happy moment will arrive when I shall see.

In the meanwhile I smile and I sing all alone.
In the meanwhile the air is filling with the perfume of promise.

Rabindranath Tagore
***********************

On the day when the lotus bloomed, alas, my mind was straying,
and I knew it not. My basket was empty and the flower remained unheeded.

Only now and again a sadness fell upon me, and I started up from my
dream and felt a sweet trace of a strange fragrance in the south wind.

That vague sweetness made my heart ache with longing and it seemed to
me that is was the eager breath of the summer seeking for its completion.

I knew not then that it was so near, that it was mine, and that this
perfect sweetness had blossomed in the depth of my own heart.

Rabindranath Tagore
***********************

William Shakespeare (1609)


Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm’d;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature’s changing course untrimm’d;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander’st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this and this gives life to thee.

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Summer

from The Second Pastoral by Alexander Pope (1709)


See what Delights in Sylvan Scenes appear!
Descending Gods have found Elysium here.
In Woods bright Venus with Adonis stray’d;
And chast Diana haunts the Forest Shade.
Come lovely Nymph, and bless the silent Hours,
When Swains from Sheering seek their nightly Bow’rs;
When weary Reapers quit the sultry Field,
And crown’d with Corn, their Thanks to Ceres yield.
This harmless Grove no lurking Viper hides,
But in my Breast the Serpent Love abides.
Here Bees from Blossoms sip the rosy Dew,
But your Alexis knows no Sweet but you.
Some God conduct you to these blissful Seats,
The mossie Fountains, and the Green Retreats!
Where-e’er you walk, cool Gales shall fan the Glade,
Trees, where you sit, shall crowd into a Shade,
Where-e’er you tread, the blushing Flow’rs shall rise,
And all things flourish where you turn your Eyes.
Oh! how I long with you to pass my Days,
Invoke the Muses, and resound your Praise;
Your Praise the Birds shall chant in ev’ry Grove,
And Winds shall waft it to the Pow’rs above.
But would you sing, and rival Orpheus’ Strain,
The wond’ring Forests soon shou’d dance again,
The moving Mountains hear the pow’rful Call,
And headlong Streams hang list’ning in their Fall!

But see, the Shepherds shun the Noon-day Heat,
The lowing Herds to murm’ring Brooks retreat,
To closer Shades the panting Flocks remove,
Ye Gods! and is there no Relief for Love?
But soon the Sun with milder Rays descends
To the cool Ocean, where his Journey ends;
On me Love’s fiercer Flames for ever prey,
By Night he scorches, as he burns by Day.

Robert Burns

 

O, my Luve's like a red, red rose,
That's newly sprung in June.
O, my Luve's like a melodie That's sweetly play'd in tune.
As fair as thou, my bonnie lass, So deep in luve am I; And I will love thee still, my dear, Till a' the seas gang dry.
Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear, And the rocks melt wi' the sun: I will love thess till, my dear, While the sands o' life shall run: And fare thee well, my only luve! And fare thee weel, a while! And I will come again, my luve, Tho' it ware ten thousand mile.

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