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XCI.-SUMMER MORNING.

I.

ORNING again breaks through the gates of heaven
And shakes her jeweled kirtle on the sky,
Heavy with rosy gold. Aside are driven

The vassal clouds, which bow as she draws nigh,
And catch her scattered gems of orient dye,
The pearled ruby which her pathway strews;
Argent and amber, now thrown useless by:
The uncolored clouds wear what she doth refuse,
For only once does Morn her sun-dyed garments use.

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From Nature's old cathedral sweetly ring

The wild-bird choirs-burst of the woodland band, Green-hooded nuns, who 'mid the blossoms sing; Their leafy temple, gloomy, tall, and grand,

Pillared with oaks, and roofed with Heaven's own hand. Hark! how the anthem rolls through arches dun:"Morning again is come to light the land;

The great world's Comforter, the mighty Sun,
Has yoked his golden steeds, the glorious race tc run."

III.

Those dusky foragers, the noisy rooks,

Have from their green high city-gates rushed out,
To rummage furrowy fields and flowery nooks;
On yonder branch now stands their glossy scout.
As yet no busy insects buzz about,

No fairy thunder o'er the air is rolled:

The drooping buds their crimson lips still pout,

Those stars of earth, the daisies white, unfold,

And soon the buttercups will give back "gold for gold."

IV.

Hark! hark! the lark sings 'mid the silvery blue;
Behold her flight, proud man! and lowly bow.

She seems the first that does for pardon sue,

As though the guilty stain which lurks below

Had touched the flowers that droop about her brow, When she all night slept by the daisies' side;

And now she soars where purity doth flow,

Where new-born light is with no sin allied,

And pointing with her wings heavenward our thoughts would guide.

V.

On the far sky leans the old ruined mill.

Through its rent sails the broken sunbeams glow,

Gilding the trees that belt the lower hill,

And the old thorns which on its summit grow.

Only the reedy marsh that sleeps below, With its dwarf bushes, is concealed from view;

And now a struggling thorn its head doth show, Another half shakes off the smoky blue,

Just where the dusty gold streams through the heavy dew.

VI.

And there the hidden river lingering dreams,—

You scarce can see the banks which round it lie;
That withered trunk, a tree, or shepherd seems,
Just as the light or fancy strikes the eye.
Even the very sheep, which graze hard by,
So blend their fleeces with the misty haze,

They look like clouds shook from the unsunned sky,
Ere morning o'er the eastern hills did blaze :-
The vision fades as they move on to graze.

VII.

A chequered light streams in between the leaves,
Which on the greensward twinkle in the sun;
The deep-voiced thrush his speckled bosom heaves,
And like a silver stream his song doth run
Down the low vale, edged with fir-trees dun.

A little bird now hops beside the brook,

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Peaking" about like an affrighted nun:

And ever as she drinks doth upward look,

Twitters and drinks again, then seeks her cloistered nook.

VIII.

What varied colors o'er the landscape play!
The very clouds seem at their ease to lean,
And the whole earth to keep glad holiday.
The lowliest bush that by the waste is seen
Hath changed its dusky for a golden green,
In honor of this lovely summer morn;

The rutted roads did never seem so clean;
There is no dust upon the wayside thorn,
For every bud looks out as if but newly born.

IX.

A cottage girl trips by with side-long look,
Steadying the little basket on her head;
And where a plank bridges the narrow brook
She stops to see her fair form shadowed.
The stream reflects her cloak of russet red;
Below she sees the trees and deep-blue sky,

The flowers which downward look in that clear bed, The very birds which o'er its brightness fly :

She parts her loose-blown hair, then wondering passes by

X.

How sweet those rural sounds float by the hill!

The grasshopper's shrill chirp rings o'er the ground, The jingling sheep-bells are but seldom still,

The clapping gate closes with hollow bound,

There's music in the church-clock's measured sound. The ring-dove's song, how breeze-like comes and goes! Now here, now there, it seems to wander round: The red cow's voice along the upland flows;

His bass the brindled bull from the far meadow lows.

XI.

Where soars that spire, our rude forefathers prayed:
Thither they came, from many a thick-leaved dell
Year after year, and o'er those footpaths strayed
When summoned by the sounding Sabbath-bell,—
For in those walls they deemed that God did dwell.
And still they sleep within that bell's deep sound.
Yon spire doth here of no distinction tell :

O'er rich and poor, marble and earthly mound,
The monument of all,-it marks one common ground.

XII.

See yonder smoke, before it curls to heaven,
Mingles its blue amid the elm-trees tall;
Shrinking like one who fears to be forgiven,

So on the earth again doth prostrate fall,

And 'mid the bending green each sin recall. Now from their beds the cottage-children rise,

Roused by some early playmate's noisy bawl; And, on the door-step standing, rub their eyes, Stretching their little arms, and gaping at the skies.

XIII.

The leaves "drop, drop," and dot the crispëd stream
So quick, each circle wears the first away;
Far out the tufted bulrush seems to dream,
And to the ripple nods its head alway;
The water-flags with one another play,
Bowing to every breeze that blows between,

While purple dragon-flies their wings display:
The restless swallow's arrowy flight is seen,
Dimpling the sunny wave, then lost amid the green.

XIV.

All things, save man, this summer morn rejoice:
Sweet smiles the sky, so fair a world to view;
Unto the earth below the flowers give voice;
Even the wayside weed of homeliest hue
Looks up erect amid the golden blue,
And thus it speaketh to the thinking mind:—
"O'erlook me not! I for a purpose grew,
Though long mayest thou that purpose try to find.
On us one sunshine falls! God only is not blind!"

XV.

Here might a sinner humbly kneel and pray,
With this bright sky, this lovely scene in view,

And worship Him who guardeth us alway!—

Who hung these lands with green, this sky with blue, Who spake, and from these plains huge cities grew; Who made thee, O my Country! what thou art,

And asks but gratitude for all His due.

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The Giver, God! claims but the beggar's part,
And only doth require a humble, contrite heart.”
THOMAS MILLER-abridged.

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