The Time for Me.

What time the Shepherd Summer leads1
His flock of daisies o’er the meads ;2
What time the gorse and broom unfold3
Their beauty and their wealth of gold ;4
What time the hawthorn’s linen blossom5
With crimson spots piled o’er its bosom,6
In clusters pendent from the tree,7
Kisses the wind most fragrantly ;8
What time the grass is spotted over9
With triple leaves and crowns of clover,10
With butter-cups and dandelions,11
Gold and emerald in affiance ;12
What time the woolly-coated peach13
Hangs purple where the sunbeams reach ;14
What time the cherry’s crimson cheek15
Attracts the black-bird’s gashing beak ;16
What time the rose-buds burst afire,17
To flame abroad in red attire18
O that’s the pious time for me,19
In the maiden morning’s company,20
The air to drink and landscape see,21
And trace all good, O God, to Thee !22
What time on Hownam-law the Sun23
Proclaims his noon-day goal is won ;24
What time the liquid shade doth fall25
On yonder Eastern-facing wall ;26
What time upon the church’s roof27
Dove from dove is perched aloof ;28
What time, the Arabs of the bill,29
The chatt’ring sparrows even are still30
O then, that is the time for me31
To enter meditatively32
The pleachèd honeysuckle bower,33
And softly charm the thirsty hour,34
In drinking from the haunted springs,35
The gifts of God’s poetic kings !36
What time the kindler of the day37
Wheels down his occidental way,38
’Mid purple clouds, loopholed with white,39
Whence issues the imprisoned light40
That rushes o’er the East in millions41
Of burning rays of Western brilliance ;42
Which gild the towers with golden faces,43
And shadows fling on lower places44
Of each obstructing tree and wall45
Before the painting beams that fall,46
Which far away, with silver tide,47
Flow on the blue of Cheviot’s side,48
And bring the greenery into bloom49
A moment ’mid the parted gloom50
O then, that is the time for me51
To bow my head most reverently,52
And, ’midst the twilight’s placid calm,53
To sing to God my evening psalm !54