Thursday, June 21, 2007

Summer Solstice

Oh, summer breaks my heart with longing…

And this is by a Victorian poet:

Summer Days

By Wathen Marks Wilks Call (1817–90)

In summer, when the days were long,
We walk’d, two friends, in field and wood;
Our heart was light, our step was strong,
And life lay round us, fair as good,
In summer, when the days were long.

We stray’d from morn till evening came,
We gather’d flowers, and wove us crowns;
We walk’d mid poppies red as flame,
Or sat upon the yellow downs,
And always wish’d our life the same.

In summer, when the days were long,
We leap’d the hedgerow, cross’d the brook;
And still her voice flow’d forth in song,
Or else she read some graceful book,
In summer, when the days were long.

And then we sat beneath the trees,
With shadows lessening in the noon;
And in the sunlight and the breeze
We revell’d, many a glorious June,
While larks were singing o’er the leas.

In summer, when the days were long,
We pluck’d wild strawberries, ripe and red,
Or feasted, with no grace but song,
On golden nectar, snow-white bread,
In summer, when the days were long.

We lov’d, and yet we knew it not,
For loving seem’d like breathing then;
We found a heaven in every spot;
Saw angels, too, in all good men,
And dream’d of gods in grove and grot.

In summer, when the days are long,
Alone I wander, muse alone;
I see her not, but that old song
Under the fragrant wind is blown,
In summer, when the days are long.

Alone I wander in the wood,
But one fair spirit hears my sighs;
And half I see the crimson hood,
The radiant hair, the calm glad eyes,
That charm’d me in life’s summer mood.

In summer, when the days are long,
I love her as I lov’d of old;
My heart is light, my step is strong,
For love brings back those hours of gold,
In summer, when the days are long.


Taffiny said...

Hi. I'm returning your visit.
I never heard/read that poem before. It is lovely, though sad too.
I know it is not about this, but what strikes me most (while reading it), is how this year, I haven't felt the timelessness. I want my summer days to feel long and wandering, but I hear ticking and feel the pressure of a clock this year. I always feel as though I ought to be doing this or that, and even when I am doing this or doing that, I feel like I ought to be doing the other.

I like driving too (not so much speed for me, but I do hate being trapped behind slower moving cars when I do need to be getting somewhere). I can let my mind roam free, and daydream, and sing badly (as long as I am in the car alone) and there is nothing else I should be doing, or can be doing. I like the nothingness and somethingness of the time spent there.
I've never listened to trance.

Thanks again for being kind about my piece.

Vesper said...


Thank you!
You're right, the poem is sad because it makes you think of the lost childhood,and the lost adolescent years, when everything was just blooming...

Still, there are many things from which to draw pleasure, among them driving and listening to (or making, why not) music.

Thank you for visiting.