Janet Hamilton

1795-1873 / Scotland

June, 1864

Why darkly veiled, like mourning bride,
Com'st thou, sweet June?-Why dost thou hide
Thy glowing charms and lustrous eyes
Beneath a cloudy, cold disguise,
Fair Nature's bosom chilling?
Thy sister, May, gave promise fair
Of golden sunshine, balmy air:
She, rich in thousand floral charms,
Drooped, languished, in thy cruel arms,
Thy cold embraces killing.
Sweet song-birds! ye who watched and sung
Beside the cradle of your young,
In bush or bough, oh! oft unfold
Your wings, to shield from cruel cold
Your downy, callow treasure.
The thorn is white with odorous blossom,
The water-lily on the bosom
Of the lone sleeping lake reposes,
The briery banks are starred with roses-
Why frown'st thou on our pleasure?
The hushing music of the breeze,
That sings to sleep the nodding trees,
On fruit, and flower, with bitter breath,
Sheds nightly down the chills of death,
I mourn, ye things of beauty!
Oh, leafy, flow'ry, balmy June!
The poet's lyre is out of tune,
The strings are sullen, damp, and chill,
The song can neither charm nor thrill,
Till thou fulfill'st thy duty.
Oh! cast aside thy veil of gloom;
Come forth in splendour, beauty, bloom;
Fair bride of summer, blushing, smiling,
With sun-bright eyes our fears beguiling-
Come jewelled, robed and crowned.
Nature, be thou my muse-inspire
My song: and though at times my lyre
Hath thrilled to notes of woe and war,
An inspiration dearer far
In Nature I have found.
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