Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, HIGH SUMMER, by EDMUND CHARLES BLUNDEN



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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

HIGH SUMMER, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Now all the birds are flown, the first, the second brood
Last Line: Talks forgotten battles with a tear in his eye.
Alternate Author Name(s): Blunden, Edmund
Subject(s): England; Landscape; Summer; English


NOW all the birds are flown, the first, the second brood,
Save those poor nestlings prisoned in cages for good;
The year seems to droop with its own midsummer might:
Tarnishing mosses crowd even runnels out of sight.

The ponds so wasted down scarce give their tenants breath,
Who plunge their heads to the ooze, and sicken to their death
Unless the clouds come on -- already their dead float
Gleamless among the brambles that hide the moorhen's boat.

Slow walks the farmer's cob with ever-switching tail
Where the white dust-track glares; and labour dips his pail
But slow where the sand-vein still bubbles its clear spring;
The mat-mender squatting near wearily braids his string,

And curses at the thunder-flies that blacken on his arm
(As now they irk and terrify the gangers on the farm);
And thinks once again when he charged across the sand
In such torment, his reward -- a hook for a hand;

And yet he labours on, till one o'clock drones,
Muttering how the flies make the flesh creep on his bones --
Then hobbles for his beer, and lively by and by
Talks forgotten battles with a tear in his eye.





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