In August.

Summer declines and roses have grown rare,1
But cottage crofts are gay with hollyhocks,2
And in old garden-walks you breathe an air3
Fragrant of pinks and August-smelling stocks.4
The soul of the delicious mignonette5
Floats on the wind and tempts the vagrant bees6
From the pale purple spikes of lavender,7
Waking a fond regret8
For dead July, whose children the sweet-peas9
Are sipped by butterflies with wings astir.10
Evenings are chill, though in the glowing noon11
Swelled peaches bask along a sunny wall,12
And mellowing apricots turn gold—too soon13
For him who loves not to be near the fall14
Of the yet deathless leaves. Pale jessamine15
Speaks, with her lucid stars, of shortening days16
To spreading fuchsias clad in crimson bells,17
Lurking beneath the twine18
Of odorous clematis, whose bowery maze19
Of gadding flowers the same sad story tells.20
Now from the sky fall sudden gleams of light21
Athwart the plain. Black poplars in the breeze22
Whiten—the willows flashing silvery white23
At every gust against dark rain-clouds : these24
Glooming beneath their crowns of massy snow,25
And soaring onward with the wind that rocks26
The sprouted elms, and shadowing as they pass27
Broad corn-fields ripening slow28
In upland farms, where still the undrawn cocks29
Stand brown amid the verdurous aftergrass.30
Now scream the curlews on the wild west coast,31
And sea-birds sport in the sunned ocean—blue32
As the intense of heaven. The crested host33
Of mighty billows endlessly pursue34
Each other in their glorious lion-play,35
Surging against the cliffs with thunderous roar,36
Till the black rocks seethe in thick-creaming foam,37
And bursts of rainbowed spray38
Fly o’er the craggy barriers far inshore,39
Drenching the thrift in its storm-buffeted home.40
Now is the season when soft melancholy41
Broods o’er the fields at solemn evenfall,42
The golden-clouded sunset dying slowly43
From the clear west, ere yet the starry pall44
Of night is silvered by the harvest moon :45
When the year’s blood runs rich as luscious wine46
With honied ripeness : when the robin’s song47
Fills the grey afternoon48
With warbled hope ; and memories divine49
Crowd to the heart of days forgotten long.50