Classic Summer Poems

Emily Dickinson


A something in a summer’s day,
As slow her flambeaux burn away,
Which solemnizes me.

A something in a summer’s noon,—
An azure depth, a wordless tune,
Transcending ecstasy.

And still within a summer’s night
A something so transporting bright,
I clap my hands to see;

Then veil my too inspecting face,
Lest such a subtle, shimmering grace
Flutter too far for me.

The wizard-fingers never rest,
The purple brook within the breast
Still chafes its narrow bed;

Still rears the East her amber flag,
Guides still the sun along the crag
His caravan of red,

Like flowers that heard the tale of dews,
But never deemed the dripping prize
Awaited their low brows;

Or bees, that thought the summer’s name
Some rumor of delirium
No summer could for them;

Or Arctic creature, dimly stirred
By tropic hint,—some travelled bird
Imported to the wood;

Or wind’s bright signal to the ear,
Making that homely and severe,
Contented, known, before

The heaven unexpected came,
To lives that thought their worshipping
A too presumptuous psalm.

Original Post
Thank you Vicky.
Summer is really here. And it is beautiful.

Summer

by John Clare (1865)


Come we to the summer, to the summer we will come,
For the woods are full of bluebells and the hedges full of bloom,
And the crow is on the oak a-building of her nest,
And love is burning diamonds in my true lover’s breast;
She sits beneath the whitethorn a-plaiting of her hair,
And I will to my true lover with a fond request repair;
I will look upon her face, I will in her beauty rest,
And lay my aching weariness upon her lovely breast.

The clock-a-clay is creeping on the open bloom of May,
The merry bee is trampling the pinky threads all day,
And the chaffinch it is brooding on its grey mossy nest
In the whitethorn bush where I will lean upon my lover’s breast;
I’ll lean upon her breast and I’ll whisper in her ear
That I cannot get a wink o’sleep for thinking of my dear;
I hunger at my meat and I daily fade away
Like the hedge rose that is broken in the heat of the day.

Summer

Some men there are who find in nature all
Their inspiration, hers the sympathy
Which spurs them on to any great endeavor,
To them the fields and woods are closest friends,
And they hold dear communion with the hills;
The voice of waters soothes them with its fall,
And the great winds bring healing in their sound.
To them a city is a prison house
Where pent up human forces labour and strive,
Where beauty dwells not, driven forth by man;
But where in winter they must live until
Summer gives back the spaces of the hills.
To me it is not so. I love the earth
And all the gifts of her so lavish hand:
Sunshine and flowers, rivers and rushing winds,
Thick branches swaying in a winter storm,
And moonlight playing in a boat’s wide wake;
But more than these, and much, ah, how much more,
I love the very human heart of man.
Above me spreads the hot, blue mid-day sky,
Far down the hillside lies the sleeping lake
Lazily reflecting back the sun,
And scarcely ruffled by the little breeze
Which wanders idly through the nodding ferns.
The blue crest of the distant mountain, tops
The green crest of the hill on which I sit;
And it is summer, glorious, deep-toned summer,
The very crown of nature’s changing year
When all her surging life is at its full.
To me alone it is a time of pause,
A void and silent space between two worlds,
When inspiration lags, and feeling sleeps,
Gathering strength for efforts yet to come.
For life alone is creator of life,
And closest contact with the human world
Is like a lantern shining in the night
To light me to a knowledge of myself.
I love the vivid life of winter months
In constant intercourse with human minds,
When every new experience is gain
And on all sides we feel the great world’s heart;
The pulse and throb of life which makes us men!

by Amy Lowell (1912)

Thank you for starting this thread Vicky.

Sincerely,
Gisele
Summer is a beautiful time of the year.
People have always enjoyed summer, especially if there is a cold season.


This is especially for you Sue.



(traditional English round, c. 1250)


ORIGINAL MIDDLE ENGLISH LYRICS:

Svmer is icumen in
Lhude sing cuccu!
Groweþ sed and bloweþ med
and springþ þe wde nu.
Sing cuccu!

Awe bleteþ after lomb,
lhouþ after calue cu,
Bulluc sterteþ, bucke uerteþ.
Murie sing cuccu!
Cuccu, cuccu,
Wel singes þu cuccu.
ne swik þu nauer nu!
Sing cuccu nu, Sing cuccu!



MODERN ENGLISH TRANSLATION:

Summer has come in
Loudly sing, cuckoo!
Seeds grow and meadows bloom
and the woods spring anew
Sing cuckoo!

Ewe bleats after lamb,
Calf lows after cow,
Bullock leaps, billygoat farts,
Merrily sing, cuckoo!
Cuckoo, cuckoo!
Well you sing cuckoo,
Nor cease you ever now!
Sing cuckoo now, Sing, cuckoo!

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Summer Shower
by Emily Dickinson

A drop fell on the apple tree,
Another on the roof;
A half a dozen kissed the eaves,
And made the gables laugh.

A few went out to help the brook,
That went to help the sea.
Myself conjectured, Were they pearls,
What necklaces could be!

The dust replaced in hoisted roads,
The birds jocoser sung;
The sunshine threw his hat away,
The orchards spangles hung.

The breezes brought dejected lutes,
And bathed them in the glee;
The East put out a single flag,
And signed the fete away.

Summer
By Christina Rossetti (1830-1894)

Winter is cold-hearted,
Spring is yea and nay,
Autumn is a weathercock
Blown every way.
Summer days for me
When every leaf is on its tree;

When Robin’s not a beggar,
And Jenny Wren’s a bride,
And larks hang singing, singing, singing
Over the wheat-fields wide,
And anchored lilies ride,
And the pendulum spider
Swings from side to side;

And blue-black beetles transact business,
And gnats fly in a host,
And furry caterpillars hasten
That no time be lost
And moths grow fat and thrive,
And ladybirds arrive

Before green apples blush,
Before green nuts embrown,
Why one day in the country
Is worth a month in town;
Is worth a day and a year
Of the dusty, musty, lag-last fashion
That days drone elsewhere.

from A Midsummer Nights Dream (III, I)
by William Shakespeare
...
Out of this wood do not desire to go:
Thou shalt remain here, whether thou wilt or no.
I am a spirit of no common rate;
The summer still doth tend upon my state;
And I do love thee: therefore, go with me;
I'll give thee fairies to attend on thee,
And they shall fetch thee jewels from the deep,
And sing while thou on pressed flowers dost sleep;
And I will purge thy mortal grossness so
That thou shalt like an airy spirit go.

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? (Sonnet 18)


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 dimmed;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature's changing course, untrimmed;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st,
Nor shall death brag thou wand'rest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to Time thou grow'st.
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

William Shakespeare





John Keats

Written on a summer evening

The church bells toll a melancholy round,
Calling the people to some other prayers,
Some other gloominess, more dreadful cares,
More harkening to the sermon's horrid sound.
Surely the mind of man is closely bound
In some blind spell: seeing that each one tears
Himself from fireside joys and Lydian airs,
And converse high of those with glory crowned.
Still, still they toll, and I should feel a damp,
A chill as from a tomb, did I not know
That they are dying like an outburnt lamp, -
That 'tis their sighing, wailing, ere they go
Into oblivion -that fresh flowers will grow,
And many glories of immortal stamp.


Alfred Tennyson, Lord Tennyson

Summer Night

NOW sleeps the crimson petal, now the white;
Nor waves the cypress in the palace walk;
Nor winks the gold fin in the porphyry font:
The firefly wakens: waken thou with me.
Now droops the milk-white peacock like a ghost,
And like a ghost she glimmers on to me.

Now lies the Earth all Danae to the stars,
And all thy heart lies open unto me.

Now slides the silent meteor on, and leaves
A shining furrow, as thy thoughts in me.

Now folds the lily all her sweetness up,
And slips into the bosom of the lake:
So fold thyself, my dearest, thou, and slip
Into my bosom and be lost in me.
Song: How sweet I roam'd from field to field
by William Blake


How sweet I roam'd from field to field,
And tasted all the summer's pride,
'Till I the prince of love beheld,
Who in the sunny beams did glide!


He shew'd me lilies for my hair,
And blushing roses for my brow;
He led me through his gardens fair,
Where all his golden pleasures grow.


With sweet May dews my wings were wet,
And Phoebus fir'd my vocal rage;
He caught me in his silken net,
And shut me in his golden cage.


He loves to sit and hear me sing,
Then, laughing, sports and plays with me;
Then stretches out my golden wing,
And mocks my loss of liberty.

The Schoolboy

by William Blake (from Songs of Experience, 1794)


I love to rise in a summer morn,
When the birds sing on every tree;
The distant huntsman winds his horn,
And the skylark sings with me:
O what sweet company!

But to go to school in a summer morn, --
O it drives all joy away!
Under a cruel eye outworn,
The little ones spend the day
In sighing and dismay.

Ah then at times I drooping sit,
And spend many an anxious hour;
Nor in my book can I take delight,
Nor sit in learning’s bower,
Worn through with the dreary shower.

How can the bird that is born for joy
Sit in a cage and sing?
How can a child, when fears annoy,
But droop his tender wing,
And forget his youthful spring!

O father and mother if buds are nipped,
And blossoms blown away;
And if the tender plants are stripped
Of their joy in the springing day,
By sorrow and care’s dismay, --

How shall the summer arise in joy,
Or the summer fruits appear?
Or how shall we gather what griefs destroy,
Or bless the mellowing year,
When the blasts of winter appear?



On A Bank Of Flowers

On a bank of flowers, in a summer day,
For summer lightly drest,
The youthful, blooming Nelly lay,
With love and sleep opprest;
When Willie, wand'ring thro' the wood,
Who for her favour oft had sued;
He gaz'd, he wish'd
He fear'd, he blush'd,
And trembled where he stood.

Her closed eyes, like weapons sheath'd,
Were seal'd in soft repose;
Her lip, still as she fragrant breath'd,
It richer dyed the rose;
The springing lilies, sweetly prest,
Wild-wanton kissed her rival breast;
He gaz'd, he wish'd,
He mear'd, he blush'd,
His bosom ill at rest.

Her robes, light-waving in the breeze,
Her tender limbs embrace;
Her lovely form, her native ease,
All harmony and grace;
Tumultuous tides his pulses roll,
A faltering, ardent kiss he stole;
He gaz'd, he wish'd,
He fear'd, he blush'd,
And sigh'd his very soul.

As flies the partridge from the brake,
On fear-inspired wings,
So Nelly, starting, half-awake,
Away affrighted springs;
But Willie follow'd-as he should,
He overtook her in the wood;
He vow'd, he pray'd,
He found the maid
Forgiving all, and good.


Robert Burns

INDIAN SUMMER
Emily Dickinson [1830-1886]

These are the days when birds come back,
A very few, a bird or two,
To take a backward look.

These are the days when skies put on
The old, old sophistries of June, -
A blue and gold mistake.

Oh, fraud that cannot cheat the bee,
Almost thy plausibility
Induces my belief,

Till ranks of seeds their witness bear,
And softly through the altered air
Hurries a timid leaf!

Oh, sacrament of summer days,
Oh, last communion in the haze,
Permit a child to join,

Thy sacred emblems to partake,
Thy consecrated bread to break,
Taste thine immortal wine!

Night of the south winds - night of the large few
stars!
Still nodding night - mad naked summer night.

—Walt Whitman (1819–1881) "Song of Myself," Leaves of Grass (1855)

Eternal summer gilds them yet,
But all, except their sun, is set.

—George Noel Gordon, Lord Byron (1788–1824) Don Juan (1819–1824)



And pomp, and feast, and revelry,
With mask, and antique pageantry,
Such sights as youthful poets dream
On summer eves by haunted stream.

—John Milton (1608–1674) L'Allegro (1631)


Two doves upon the selfsame branch,
Two lilies on a single stem,
Two butterflies upon one flower :--
O happy we who look on them.

Who look upon them hand in hand
Flushed in the rosy summer light ;
Who look upon them hand in hand
And never give a thought to night.

Christina Rossetti
Late summer on the river the sun and wind are mild

the little birds below the eaves are grown

sun-drenched butterflies dance among the flowers

newly spun spider webs brighten every room

threadbare curtains invite the moon’s reflection

a pillow made of clay echoes with the current

my long-graying temples recall the frost and snow

let me pass this life chopping wood and fishing


Chang Feng
1052-1112

This is not a poem, but a quote from Alexandre Dumas "The Count of Monte Cristo"


A Summer Ball.

The same day during the interview between Madame Danglars and the procureur, a travelling-carriage entered the Rue du Helder, passed through the gateway of No. 27, and stopped in the yard. In a moment the door was opened, and Madame de Morcerf alighted, leaning on her son's arm. Albert soon left her, ordered his horses, and having arranged his toilet, drove to the Champs Elysees, to the house of Monte Cristo. The count received him with his habitual smile. It was a strange thing that no one ever appeared to advance a step in that man's favor. Those who would, as it were, force a passage to his heart, found an impassable barrier. Morcerf, who ran towards him with open arms, was chilled as he drew near, in spite of the friendly smile, and simply held out his hand. Monte Cristo shook it coldly, according to his invariable practice. "Here I am, dear count."

"Welcome home again."

Summer Storm


Author: Poetry of Sarah Teasdale


The panther wind
Leaps out of the night,
The snake of lightning
Is twisting and white,
The lion of thunder
Roars -- and we
Sit still and content
Under a tree --
We have met fate together
And love and pain,
Why should we fear
The wrath of the rain!

Summer is here and lavender is blooming again.
Enjoy the lovely scent.




"There’s flowers for you;
Hot lavender, mints, savory, marjoram;
The marigold, that goes to bed wi’ the sun,
And with him rises weeping; thes are flower
Of middle summer, and I thek they are given
To men of middle age." William Shakespeare The Winter’s Tale


My lilies are all in bloom as well.

Poem lyrics of The Lily by William Blake.

The modest Rose puts forth a thorn,
The humble sheep a threat'ning horn:
While the Lily white shall in love delight,
Nor a thorn nor a threat stain her beauty bright.




J. Carbonetti
My lilies are also all blooming at the moment.
Thank you Sue.



Love-Lily


Between the hands, between the brows,
Between the lips of Love-Lily,
A spirit is born whose birth endows
My blood with fire to burn through me;
Who breathes upon my gazing eyes,
Who laughs and murmurs in mine ear,
At whose least touch my colour flies,
And whom my life grows faint to hear.
Within the voice, within the heart,
Within the mind of Love-Lily,
A spirit is born who lifts apart
His tremulous wings and looks at me;
Who on my mouth his finger lays,
And shows, while whispering lutes confer,
That Eden of Love's watered ways
Whose winds and spirits worship her.

Brows, hands, and lips, heart, mind, and voice,
Kisses and words of Love-Lily,--
Oh! bid me with your joy rejoice
Till riotous longing rest in me!
Ah! let not hope be still distraught,
But find in her its gracious goal,
Whose speech Truth knows not from her thought
Nor Love her body from her soul.

Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Artist: John Singer Sargent


Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose
after John Singer Sargent

Eden could have been like this: two girls,

awake with wonder

glowing in their hands,

the carnations listening to the swish-swish-sway

of fabric in the breeze; nothing else

touches them here.


But someday the lanterns will hang from a veranda,

and even the roses will have lost

all memory of the earlier garden.

Years after tonight, the lily’s pollen

will be found, sprinkled

in the ruffles of a yellowed linen dress.

--- Sarah Binns
Water Lily
by Rainer Maria Rilke


My whole life is mine, but whoever says so
will deprive me, for it is infinite.
The ripple of water, the shade of the sky
are mine; it is still the same, my life.

No desire opens me: I am full,
I never close myself with refusal-
in the rythm of my daily soul
I do not desire-I am moved;

by being moved I exert my empire,
making the dreams of night real:
into my body at the bottom of the water
I attract the beyonds of mirrors...

'Tis moonlight, summer moonlight by Emily Bronte
'Tis moonlight, summer moonlight,
All soft and still and fair;
The solemn hour of midnight
Breathes sweet thoughts everywhere,

But most where trees are sending
Their breezy boughs on high,
Or stooping low are lending
A shelter from the sky.

And there in those wild bowers
A lovely form is laid;
Green grass and dew-steeped flowers
Wave gently round her head.

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I know a place where Summer strives
With such a practised Frost –
She — each year — leads her Daisies back –
Recording briefly — “Lost” –

But when the South Wind stirs the Pools
And struggles in the lanes –
Her Heart misgives Her, for Her Vow –
And she pours soft Refrains

Into the lap of Adamant –
And spices — and the Dew –
That stiffens quietly to Quartz –
Upon her Amber Shoe –

Emily Dickinson

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In a few days summer will really be here, although it is very warm here and feels like summer already.
Enjoy all the beautiful colours of summer.

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.

Emily Dickinson


It will be Summer — eventually.
Ladies — with parasols —
Sauntering Gentlemen — with Canes —
And little Girls — with Dolls —

Will tint the pallid landscape —
As ’twere a bright Bouquet —
Tho’ drifted deep, in Parian —
The Village lies — today —

The Lilacs — bending many a year —
Will sway with purple load —
The Bees — will not despise the tune —
Their Forefathers — have hummed —

The Wild Rose — redden in the Bog —
The Aster — on the Hill
Her everlasting fashion — set —
And Covenant Gentians — frill —

Till Summer folds her miracle —
As Women — do — their Gown —
Or Priests — adjust the Symbols —
When Sacrament — is done —

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