Welcome Summer Solstice

A Likely Lake

In Summer Time

Paul Laurence Dunbar – 1872-1906

(The author of numerous collections of poetry and prose; he was one of the first African American poets to gain national recognition.)

When summer time has come, and all
The world is in the magic thrall
Of perfumed airs that lull each sense
To fits of drowsy indolence;
When skies are deepest blue above,
And flow'rs aflush,—then most I love
To start, while early dews are damp,
And wend my way in woodland tramp
Where forests rustle, tree on tree,
And sing their silent songs to me;
Where pathways meet and pathways part,—
To walk with Nature heart by heart,
Till wearied out at last I lie
Where some sweet stream steals singing by
A mossy bank; where violets vie
In color with the summer sky,—
Or take my rod and line and hook,
And wander to some darkling brook,
Where all day long the willows dream,
And idly droop to kiss the stream,
And there to loll from morn till night—
Unheeding nibble, run, or bite—
Just for the joy of being there
And drinking in the summer air,
The summer sounds, and summer sights,
That set a restless mind to rights
When grief and pain and raging doubt
Of men and creeds have worn it out;
The birds' song and the water's drone,
The humming bee's low monotone,
The murmur of the passing breeze,
And all the sounds akin to these,
That make a man in summer time
Feel only fit for rest and rhyme.
Joy springs all radiant in my breast;
Though pauper poor, than king more blest,
The tide beats in my soul so strong
That happiness breaks forth in song,
And rings aloud the welkin blue
With all the songs I ever knew.
O time of rapture! time of song!
How swiftly glide thy days along
Adown the current of the years,
Above the rocks of grief and tears!
'Tis wealth enough of joy for me
In summer time to simply be.
 

5 thoughts on “Welcome Summer Solstice

  1. Reblogged this on Mitch Teemley and commented:
    My Featured Blogger this week is Kiora Tash of The Myth of Trees. I only recently began following Kiora, and know almost nothing about her except that I enjoy the way she thinks and the way she feels. She describes herself “an explorer, a human child of earth, finding joy and sorrow in equal measure” who shares “stories of interconnection.” A bit heady, perhaps (not exactly “I have two dogs and I like pizza”), but it captures the spirit of her inviting site.

    I chose this particular post because of its theme Summer Solstice, and because in it Kiora introduced me to yet another kindred spirit, poet Paul Laurence Dunbar, whose words utterly transport me to the summer place he describes–and make me long to remain there.

    Take the journey with us!

    Like

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