“Prolong, prolong that tide of song, O leafy nightingale and thrush!”

I love this time of year, with the long lingering evenings, especially with a breeze soughing in the leaves and friends for a supper.

I am in New York City at the moment, and there is little here of the blackcap, thrush and nightingale.  But soon I will trade this city for the Sabine Farm and the coming of a family visiting from Italy.

With a tip of the biretta to the Laudator:

George Meredith, The Longest Day:
On yonder hills soft twilight dwells
And Hesper burns where sunset dies,
Moist and chill the woodland smells
From the fern-covered hollows uprise;
Darkness drops not from the skies,
But shadows of darkness are flung o’er the vale
From the boughs of the chestnut, the oak, and the elm,
While night in yon lines of eastern pines
Preserves alone her inviolate realm
Against the twilight pale.

Say, then say, what is this day,
That it lingers thus with half-closed eyes,
When the sunset is quenched and the orient ray
Of the roseate moon doth rise,
Like a midnight sun o’er the skies!
‘Tis the longest, the longest of all the glad year,
The longest in life and the fairest in hue,
When day and night, in bridal light,
Mingle their beings beneath the sweet blue,
And bless the balmy air!

Upward to this starry height
The culminating seasons rolled;
On one slope green with spring delight,
The other with harvest gold,
And treasures of Autumn untold:
And on this highest throne of the midsummer now
The waning but deathless day doth dream,
With a rapturous grace, as tho’ from the face
Of the unveiled infinity, lo, a far beam
Had fall’n on her dim-flushed brow!

Prolong, prolong that tide of song,
O leafy nightingale and thrush!
Still, earnest-throated blackcap, throng
The woods with that emulous gush
Of notes in tumultuous rush.
Ye summer souls, raise up one voice!
A charm is afloat all over the land;
The ripe year doth fall to the Spirit of all,
Who blesses it with outstretched hand;
Ye summer souls, rejoice!

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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6 Responses to “Prolong, prolong that tide of song, O leafy nightingale and thrush!”

  1. Thomas says:

    For several days before and several days after the Solstice, the Boston area is blanketed in cloud-cover and rain. So much for “the longest day(s) of the year.”

  2. Robert says:

    It is very much “Longest Day” weather here in Grand Rapids, Mich. Wonderful poem selection, Fr. Z.

  3. Ellen says:

    Lovely poem, but I am longing for fall. It was 95 here yesterday with humidity about the same. And it will be that way for the rest of the week.

  4. Maureen says:

    I woke up to one of those odd days with enough fog diffused in the air to turn all the mist the same color as sunrise. In today’s case, the world became a nice mellow pink.

  5. Ann says:

    What a wonderful poem–read it aloud and it just flows with marvelous patterns of words. :)

  6. Lirioroja says:

    It’s dreary and craptacular weather-wise here in NYC and has been for the past month or so. Rain, rain, and more rain, overcast when it’s not raining, days you need to wear a jacket outside, and no sign of summer weather in sight. I don’t remember when I last saw the sun. Cloud cover and rain for the longest days of the year. I’m depressed.