by Frederick H. Pilch


In the long days pleasant gloaming,
        ‘Twixt the sun and stars,
When the soul would fain go roaming
        Free from mortal bars;
Gentle night winds stir the roses,
As the door of daylight closes
        In the Western sky;
And the shades of dusk fall thickly,
As oblivion gathers quickly
        Over men who die;
Tunefully the streamlet’s tinkle
        In the leafy grove–
Tallies with the rhythmic twinkle
        Of the orbs above.


Distant drowsy bells are telling
        Midnight on the air,
Denizens of field and dwelling
        Slumber everywhere;
Troops of shadows flee to cover,
As the smiling moon peeps over
        Each umbrageous hill;
And amid its lustrous glimmer
Dusky woodland aisles grow dimmer,
        And more silent still;
Rills and rivers smile unwrinkled
        By the slightest breeze,
While the foliage droops unsprinkled
        On the dusty trees.


Crickets chirp and birds are singing
        At the break of day,
While the lavish sun is flinging
        Streams of tints away;
Busy farmers, brown and burly,
Haste to labor, bright and early,
        Ere the day be clear;
Making hillside echoes chatter
With the loudly rattling clatter
        Of the reaping gear;
While the gleeful children ramble
        ‘Mid the orchards cool,
Or with laughter splash and gamble
        In some quiet pool.

Image: Digital Commonwealth
Image: Digital Commonwealth

In 1882 Frederick Pilch, a Newark attorney, published Homespun Verses, a compilation of mostly seasonal poetry sampled here.

One thought on “summer

  1. So many vivid words to paint the picture, many of which are seldom seen/used in our modern world. I like the way he captured the mood created by summer. I especially liked this line:

    As the door of daylight closes
    In the Western sky

    It reminds me of the the Ernest Dowson poem…

    They are not long, the days of wine and roses:
    Out of a misty dream
    Our path emerges for a while, then closes
    Within a dream.
    – Ernest Dowson, from “Vitae Summa Brevis” (1896).

    It’s hard to write poetry like this now without sounding cliched or out-of-step with our own time; but I’m glad that poets of this era were unencumbered by that limitation…

    Thank you for posting!


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