Sunday, June 26, 2011
Verse of the Day by William Blake
After a day of too much sun and too much wine,and vines stretching to the distant blue hills, I thought I'd post a summer poem. But the strange thing about these summer days are the way they can leave me exhausted, wishing someone could hand me another weekend to get over this one.
William Blake doesn't sum up summer in Virginia very well. I always associate him with those dark, satanic mills. But I'm a fan of most of his work and this poem makes me think of those temperamental summers in England;of those summer days I could never quite take for granted because rain could be sheeting across sodden fields the very next day.
To Summer by William Blake
O thou who passest thro' our valleys in
Thy strength, curb thy fierce steeds, allay the heat
That flames from their large nostrils! thou, O Summer,
Oft pitched'st here thy goldent tent, and oft
Beneath our oaks hast slept, while we beheld
With joy thy ruddy limbs and flourishing hair.
Beneath our thickest shades we oft have heard
Thy voice, when noon upon his fervid car
Rode o'er the deep of heaven; beside our springs
Sit down, and in our mossy valleys, on
Some bank beside a river clear, throw thy
Silk draperies off, and rush into the stream:
Our valleys love the Summer in his pride.
Our bards are fam'd who strike the silver wire:
Our youth are bolder than the southern swains:
Our maidens fairer in the sprightly dance:
We lack not songs, nor instruments of joy,
Nor echoes sweet, nor waters clear as heaven,
Nor laurel wreaths against the sultry heat.