Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. V. Nature
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume V. Nature.  1904.
 
III. The Seasons
Ballade of Midsummer Days and Nights
William Ernest Henley (1849–1903)
 
WITH a ripple of leaves and a tinkle of streams
  The full world rolls in a rhythm of praise,
And the winds are one with the clouds and beams—
    Midsummer days! midsummer days!
  The dusk grows vast; in a purple haze,        5
While the west from a rapture of sunset rights,
  Faint stars their exquisite lamps upraise—
    Midsummer nights! O midsummer nights!
 
The wood’s green heart is a nest of dreams,
  The lush grass thickens and springs and sways,        10
The rathe wheat rustles, the landscape gleams—
    Midsummer days! midsummer days!
  In the stilly fields, in the stilly ways,
All secret shadows and mystic lights,
  Late lovers murmurous linger and gaze—        15
    Midsummer nights! O midsummer nights!
 
There ’s a music of bells from the trampling teams,
  Wild skylarks hover, the gorses blaze,
The rich ripe rose as with incense steams—
    Midsummer days! midsummer days!        20
  A soul from the honeysuckle strays,
And the nightingale as from prophet heights
  Sings to the earth of her million Mays—
    Midsummer nights! O midsummer nights!
 
ENVOY
And it ’s oh! for my dear, and the charm that stays—
        25
    Midsummer days! midsummer days!
It ’s oh! for my love, and the dark that plights—
    Midsummer nights! O midsummer nights!
 
 
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