A Summer Day

O FOR a summer day when time was young
And o'er the hills Aurora led the morn,
While olive groves and fir-dark mountains rung
To the clear winding of Diana's horn!
And on the woody heights, his Nymphs among,
Or Fauns eluding, in some cave forlorn,
Great Pan from woven reeds sweet music flung
To the soft winds that curled Demeter's corn.
And, lapt in languor, by the crystal springs
The white-armed Naiads leaned upon their urns,

And Sylphs flew past on silent, rainbow wings,
And Dryads whispered by the drooping ferns,
Where, hid in myrtles from Apollo's ray,
Resplendent Venus slept the noon away.

And sea-crowned Nereus watched the snowy sails
Cross the Ægean in some golden quest,
While from Olympus stole celestial gales
Perchance had ruffled glorious Juno's vest;
And Jove's swift eagles soared above the vales,
Lost in the Sun-god as they neared the west;
And shepherds told of Hermes wondrous tales,
And how Persephone was Pluto's guest,—
Till starry Night came down so still and fair
That gods and men were lulled to like repose,
And Sleep, the cherub, ere they were aware
With poppies twined their morning wreath of rose,
And, through the Ivory Gate, in blissful vision,
They roamed the gardens of the realm Elysian.
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