Pat Tisdall

Catsfield, Essex

Summer (From 'Beyond Eden' And 'The Seasons')

When laughing Summer leaps across the lea,
And May and June are chased by bold July
Along the hedgerow, where the butterfly
Displays the beauty of its symmetry,
And where suspended in the sun's warm rays
The darting hoverfly with silence plays;

When listless leaves hang from the chestnut tree,
And Spring's lush grass has turned to summer'd hay
Beside the rutted lane where badgers stray,
And watchful weasels lift hills by the stile,
Where thistle seeking finches pause awhile;

When sapphire kingfishers flash silently
Above the river flowing to the weir,
And in the sunlit water, cool and clear,
The lurking pike, unmoving, patiently
Peers through the reeds, where in the afternoon
The iridescent dragonflies commune;

When nimbus banks of billowed majesty
Across the sky their sullen columns form,
And August grumbles in the distant storm,
As thunder spots splash intermittently
On dusty footpaths, which bespattered wear
An earthy odour in the sultry air;

When evening shadows lengthen stealthily
Behind tall elms, as bat-flecked twilight falls,
And from the borders, by the garden walls,
Night-scented-stock diffuses secretly
Elusive fragrance, while upon the lawn
The snuffling hedgehog roams until the dawn:

Then I recall a time when love once stood
Upon the threshold of young womanhood:
That tender yearning which the years retain,
For love's first touch may not be felt again.
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