This is the rainless summer,
Deluged with heat and light.
Everywhere is the shimmer
Of sunshine, broad and bright;
But never the filmy vapors
Wrung from the panting ground,
Return to the flowers, in Summer showers,
With the raindrops' cheerful sound.
The willows bend by the river
And their branches long and green,
In the warm dry breezes shiver,
And dance in the golden sheen;
But the sands are hot about them,
And but stagnant pools remain,
Where the flood has poured and the torrent roared,
To the song of the falling rain.
To the grapevine, green on their trellis,
Are heavy with emerald drops,
And a thousand twitterings tell us
Of birds in the high treetops;
But where are the tender wildflowers,
And the grasses, bent with dew,
When the ripples strayed and the young lambs played,
While all things were made new?
O, this is the year's great noontide,
That follows her dewy morn,
When near to the dusty roadside
Are the stalks with their golden corn;
And down in the shady orchard,
Half hid in the living leaves,
Bright goblets shine with brimming wine,
O'er which no fond heart grieves.
O radiant, rainless Summer!
The year's bright sunset is nigh;
When Autumn, the gay newcomer
Shall paint, with her rainbow dye
The fresh green leaves of the forest;
To fade in the gray twilight,
When rain and frost, on the chill wind tossed,
Shall herald the year's great night.
And from the bell-towers tolling,
At the midnight of the year,
Shall the brazen tongues be calling
To the old year's frosty bier;
'Till the birth of another cycle
They publish from strand to strand,
Where the streamlets creep and the swift floods sweep
O'er the rainless Summer land.