What summer have we here?

SUMMER
by Alexander Pope

See what delights in sylvan scenes appear!

Descending Gods have found Elysium here.

In woods bright Venus with Adonis stray’d,

And chaste Diana haunts the forest shade.

Come lovely nymph, and bless the silent hours,

When swains from shearing 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 sweets but you.

Oh deign to visit our forsaken seats,

The mossy 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 wou’d 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 every prey,

By night he scorches, as he burns by day.

• • •

Photo ©2011, Jen Payne

2 thoughts on “What summer have we here?

    1. A client of mine ordered a sign this morning – 3′ x 5′ – then asked if I thought it was big enough. I said, “Well, it’s about as tall as I am, I think that’s a good size.” He laughed and said he agreed, which I didn’t get until I remembered he’s not much taller than I am!

      But, yes, Pope had a lovely vocabulary!

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