Janet Hamilton

1795-1873 / Scotland

Summer Voices

Beneath the shining trembling leaves that drape the bowers of June,
I sit and list with raptured ear to sweetly-varied tune
Of Nature's thousand melodies-above, below, around-
Sweet sights, sweet scents, but sweeter far the mingling charms of sound.
The silvery lapse of tinkling streams; the river's rushing voice;
The lucent waves that lap the shore in murmuring tones rejoice;
The fitful cadence of the breeze that skims with silken wings
O'er bending waves of odorous hay, and through the woodland sings;
The tell-tale voice beloved of Spring; the wail of forest dove;
The thousand swelling warbling throats that sing of bliss and love;
The voice of woods, in soft commune with twilight's dewy airs,
Where parent thrush on darkling bough beguiles his brooding cares;
The shadows fall-Oh, gentle bird, thy liquid voice is mute;
But, hark! that sweetly-thrilling strain breathed from the plaintive flute;
No eye but thine, soft star of love, the rapt musician sees
Slow wandering by the lonely lake beneath the sleeping trees.
Now, Scotia! pour thy native airs so wildly, simply sweet,
For this the hour and this the scene when rustic maidens meet
By cottage door-by village spring, o'erhung with wilding rose.
Hark from their lips the Doric lay in gushing music flows.
Sweet Summer sounds, I love ye all; but, dearest-holiest-best-
The song of praise from cottage hearth that hails the Sabbath rest;
The birds-the streams-the breeze-the song to earthly sounds are given,
This mounts the wings of Summer morn, and singing, flies to heaven!
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