The Shepherds Calendar - July 2nd version

July the month of summers prime
Again resumes her busy time
Scythes tinkle in each grassy dell
Where solitude was wont to dwell
And meadows they are mad with noise
Of laughing maids and shouting boys
Making up the withering hay
With merry hearts as light as play
The very insects on the ground
So nimbly bustle all around
Among the grass or dusty soil
They seem partakers in the toil
The very landscape reels with life
While mid the busy stir and strife
Of industry the shepherd still
Enjoys his summer dreams at will
Bent oer his hook or listless laid
Beneath the pastures willow shade
Whose foliage shines so cool and grey
Amid the sultry hues of day
As if the mornings misty veil
Yet lingered in their shadows pale
Or lolling in a musing mood
On mounds where saxon castles stood
Upon whose deeply buried walls
The ivyed oaks dark shadow falls
Oft picking up with wondering gaze
Some little thing of other days
Saved from the wreck of time-as beads
Or broken pots among the weeds
Of curious shapes-and many a stone
Of roman pavements thickly sown
Oft hoping as he searches round
That buried riches may be found
Tho search as often as he will
His hopes are dissapointed still
And marking oft upon his seat
The insect world beneath his feet
In busy motion here and there
Like visitors to feast or fair
Some climbing up the rushes stem
Hugh steeples height or more to them
With speed that sees no fear to drop
Till perched upon its spirey top
Where they awhile the view survey
Then prune their wings and flit away
Others journying too and fro
Among the grassy woods below
Musing as if they felt and knew
The pleasant scenes they wandered thro
Where each bent round them seems to be
Hugh as a jiant timber tree
While pismires from their castles come
In crowds to seek the litterd crumb
Which he on purpose drops that they
May hawl the heavy loads away
Shaping the while their dark employs
To his own visionary joys
Picturing such a life as theirs
As free from summers sweating cares
And inly wishing that his own
Coud meet with joys so thickly sown
Sport seems the all that they pursue
And play the only work they do
The cowboy still cuts short the day
In mingling mischief with his play
Oft in the pond with weeds oer grown
Hurling quick the plashing stone
To cheat his dog who watching lies
And instant plunges for the prize
And tho each effort proves as vain
He shakes his coat and dives again
Till wearied with the fruitless play
Then drops his tail and sneaks away
Nor longer heeds the bawling boy
Who seeks new sports with added joy
And on some banks oer hanging brow
Beats the whasps nest with a bough
Till armys from the hole appear
And threaten vengance in his ear
With such determined hue and cry
As makes the bold besieger flye
Elsewhere fresh mischief to renew
And still his teazing sports pursue
Pelting with excessive glee
The squirrel on the wood land tree
Who nimbles round from grain to grain
And cocks his tail and peeps again
Half pleased as if he thought the fray
Which mischief made was meant for play
Till scared and startled into flight
He instant hurries out of sight
Thus he his leisure hour employs
And feeds on busy meddling joys
While in the willow shaded pool
His cattle stand their hides to cool

Loud is the summers busy song
The smalles breeze can find a tongue
Where insects of each tiney size
Grow teazing with their melodys
Till noon burns with its blistering breath
Around and day dyes still as death
The busy noise of man and brute
Is on a sudden lost and mute
The cuckoo singing as she flies
No more to mocking boy replys
Even the brook that leaps along
Seems weary of its bubbling song
And so soft its waters creep
Tired silence sinks in sounder sleep
The cricket on its banks is dumb
The very flies forget to hum
And save the waggon rocking round
The lanscape sleeps without a sound
The breeze is stopt the lazy bough
Hath not a leaf that dances now
The totter grass upon the hill
And spiders threads are standing still
The feathers dropt from more hens wing
Which to the waters surface cling
Are stedfast and as heavy seem
As stones beneath them in the stream
Hawkweeds and Groundsells fanning downs
Unruffled keep their seedy crowns
And in the oven heated air
Not one light thing is floating there
-Save that to the earnest eye
The restless heat seems twittering bye
Noon swoons beneath the heat it made
And flowers een wither in the shade
Untill the sun slopes in the west
Like weary traveler glad to rest
On pillard clouds of many hues
Then natures voice its joy renews
And checkerd field and grassy plain
Hum with their summer songs again
A requiem to the days decline
Whose setting sun beams cooly shine
A welcome to days feeble powers
As evening dews on thirsty flowers

Now to the pleasant pasture dells
Where hay from closes sweetly smells
Adown the pathways narrow lane
The milking maiden hies again
With scraps of ballads never dumb
And rosey cheeks of happy bloom
Tanned brown by summers rude embrace
That adds new beautys to her face
And red lips never paled with sighs
And flowing hair and laughing eyes
That oer full many a heart prevailed
And swelling bosom loosly veiled
White as the love it harbours there
Unsullied with the taints of care
The mower gives his labour oer
And on his bench beside the door
Sits down to see his childern play
Or smokes his leisure hour away
While from her cage the blackbird sings
That on the wood bine arbour hings
And all with happy joys receive
The quiet of a summers eve

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