Summer Holiday

THE day is tranquil, quietly exalted,
High rises her abode, green flower-vaulted,
Light winged butterflies bend the new grasses,
Brook water, a blue rippled singing, passes.

Down from Olympus dances the newcomer,
Flora, veiled in the hazes of young summer;
Her blond hair flashes with the wind's veering,
Each heavy head of grain is her golden earring.

Before my eyes there breathes the grass-green bodice
Circling the lily breasts of the slim goddess;
Then, as day wanes, the moonlight twines a slender
Belt on the water, gleaming in silver splendour.

Silence! swift Artemis runs over the meadow,
Glimmering through nets of half-transparent shadow;
And now she shakes her torch, the pale flame blanches
Through rifted clouds and overarching branches.

Hecate comes across the twilight, tending
Her plants, and here she lifts the backward bending
Night violets for their sweetness, there she closes
The purple cups of all her virgin roses.

Then slowly pacing toward me from the river,
The Mother of the Muses, memory-giver,
Grave Nimosene comes across the ages
And reads aloud from long-forgotten pages.

Where the black-mantled night sits brooding under
The nightingale's old mystery and wonder,
Her watch above two children she is keeping;
One is pretending sleep, the other sleeping.

The first will rise when scarlet dawn is shaken
Over the hills ; the other will not waken,
For she is death. The first one waves her holy
Poppy wand, and sleep enfolds me slowly. . . .

Who rises yonder in the orient, laden
With swathes of colour? Ah, the rosiest maiden
Aurora ! but she flies already, frightened;
A youth stands in her stead; the hills are brightened.

He plucks the strings of his enchanted lyre.
Day flings the answer back in chords of fire,
And then from a thousand hidden tangles, ringing,
Flows the great morning hymn the birds are singing.

Also in me, in me, Phoebus Apollo,
You waken songs of praise; mine too shall follow
The wind-path through the trees till they mount and render
My homage in the zenith of your splendour.

Homage and thanks for the song we send to meet you;
For the spark of fire we yield again to greet you;
Urged by your golden arrows we rise and enter
With you, the universe's radiant centre.
(Contributed by daniel on Wednesday, March 30th, 2011)
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