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!