August 30, 2011
—Mary Mapes Dodge.
OH, life is rife in the heart of the year,
When midsummer suns sail high;
And under the shadow of spike and spear,
In the depth of the daisy-sky,
There’s a life unknown to the careless glance;
And under the stillness an airy prance,
And slender, jointed things astir,
And gossamer wings in a sunny whir,—
And a world of work and dance.
Soft in its throbbing, the conscious green
Demurely answers the breeze;
While down in its tangle, in riotous sheen,
The hoppers are bending their knees;
And only a beetle, or lumbering ant,
As he pushes a feathery spray aslant,—
Or the sudden dip of a foraging bird,
With its vibrant trail of the clover stirred,
Discovers the secret haunt.
Ah, the grass-world dies in the autumn days,
When, studded with sheaf and stack,
The fields lie browning in sullen haze,
And creak in the farmer’s track.
Hushed is the tumult the daisies knew,
The hidden sport of the supple crew;
And lonely and dazed in the glare of the day
The stiff-kneed hoppers refuse to play
In the stubble that mocks the blue.
For all things feel that the time is drear
When life runs low in the heart of the year.