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Over the farm is brooding silence now,—
No reaper's song, no raven's clangor harsh,

No bleat of sheep, no distant low of cow,
No croak of frogs within the spreading marsh,

No bragging cock from littered farmyard crows,—

The scene is steeped in silence and repose.

A trembling haze hangs over all the fields,—

The panting cattle in the river stand,
Seeking the coolness which its wave scarce yields,

It seems a Sabbath through the drowsy land;
So hushed is all beneath the Summer's spell,
I pause and listen for some faint church-bell.

The leaves are motionless, the song-birds mute;

The very air seems somnolent and sick:
The spreading branches with o'er-ripened fruit

Show in the sunshine all their clusters thick,
While now and then a mellow apple falls
With a dull thud within the orchard's walls.

The sky has but one solitary cloud

Like a dark island in a sea of ligh..,
The parching furrows 'twixt the corn-rows ploughed

Seem fairly dancing in my dazzled sight,
While over yonder road a dusty haze
Grows luminous beneath the sun's fierce blaze.


That solitary cloud grows dark and wide,
While distant thunder rumbles in the air,—

A fitful ripple breaks the river's tide,—

The lazy cattle are no longer there,
But homeward come, in long procession slow,
With many a bleat and many a plaintive low.

Darker and wider spreading o'er the west
Advancing clouds, each in fantastic form,

And mirrored turrets on the river's breast,
Tell in advance the coming of a storm,—

Closer and brighter glares the lightning's flash,

And louder, nearer sounds the thunder's crash.

The air of evening is intensely hot,
The breeze feels heated as it fans my brows,—

Now sullen rain-drops patter down like shot,
Strike in the grass, or rattle mid the boughs.

A sultry lull, and then a gust again,—

And now I see the thick advancing rain!

It fairly hisses as it drives along,

And where it strikes breaks up in silvery spray As if't were dancing to the fitful song

Made by the trees, which twist themselves and sway-
In contest with the wind, that rises fast
Until the breeze becomes a furious blast.

And now, the sudden, fitful storm has fled,
The clouds lie piled up in the splendid west,

In massive shadow tipped with purplish red,
Crimson, or gold. The scene is one of rest;

And on the bosom of yon still lagoon

I see the crescent of the pallid moon.

James Barron Hope.

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gWEET is the voice that calls
From babbling waterfalls
In meadows where the downy seeds
are flying;
And soft the breezes blow,
And eddying come and go
In faded gardens where the rose is

Among the stubbled corn

The blithe quail pipes at morn.
The merry partridge drums in hidden places,

And glittering insects gleam

Above the reedy stream,
Where busy spiders spin their filmy laces.

At eve, cool shadows fall

Across the garden wall, And on the clustered grapes to purple turning;

And pearly vapors lie

Along the eastern sky, Where the broad harvest-moon is redly burning.

Ah, soon on field and hill

The wind shall whistle chill. And patriarch swallows call their flocks together,

To fly from frost and snow.

And seek for lands where blow
The fairer blossoms of a balmier weather.

The cricket chirps all day,

"O fairest summer, stay!" The squirrel eyes askance the chestnuts browning;

The wild fowl fly afar

Above the foamy bar, And hasten southward ere the skies are frowning.

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