Now that summer's ripen'd bloom
Frolics where the winter frown'd,
Stretch'd upon these banks of broom,
We command the landscape round.

Nature in the prospect yields
Humble dales and mountains bold,
Meadows, woodlands, heaths-and fields
Yellow'd o'er with waving gold.

Goats upon that frowning steep
Fearless with their kidlings browse;
Here a flock of snowy sheep,
There an herd of motley cows.

On the uplands ev'ry glade
Brightens in the blaze of day;
O'er the vales the sober shade
Softens to an ev'ning gray.

Where the rill by slow degrees
Swells into a crystal pool,
Shaggy rocks and shelving trees
Shoot to keep the waters cool.

Shiver'd by a thunderstroke
From the mountain's misty ridge,
O'er the brook a ruin'd oak
Near the farmhouse forms a bridge.

On her breast the sunny beam
Glitters in meridian pride,
Yonder as the virgin stream
Hastens to the restless tide.

Where the ships by wanton gales
Waft'd o'er the green waves run,
Sweet to see their swelling sails
Whiten'd by the laughing sun.

High upon the daisy'd hill,
Rising from the slope of trees,
How the wings of yonder mill
Labour in the busy breeze!-

Cheerful as a summer's morn,
Bouncing from her loaded pad,
Where the maid presents her corn,
Smirking to the miller's lad.

O'er the green a festal throng
Gambols in fantastic trim
As the full cart moves along:
Hearken!-'tis the harvest hymn.

Linnets on the crowded sprays
Chorus-and the woodlarks rise,
Soaring with a song of praise
Till the sweet notes reach the skies.

Torrents in extended sheets
Down the cliffs dividing break;
'Twixt the hills the water meets,
Settling in a silver lake.

From his languid flocks the swain,
By the sunbeams sore opprest,
Plunging on the wat'ry plain,
Ploughs it with his glowing breast.

Where the mantling willows nod
From the green bank's slopy side,
Patient, with his well-thrown rod,
Many an angler breaks the tide.

On the isles, with osiers drest,
Many a fair-plum'd halcyon breeds;
Many a wild bird hides her nest,
Cover'd in yon crackling reeds.

Fork-tail'd prattlers, as they pass
To their nestlings in the rock,
Darting on the liquid glass,
Seem to kiss the mimic'd flock.

Where the stone cross lifts its head,
Many a saint and pilgrim hoar
Up the hill was wont to tread
Barefoot in the days of yore.

Guardian of a sacred well,
Arch'd beneath yon rev'rend shades,
Whilome in that shatter'd cell
Many a hermit told his beads.

Sultry mists surround the heath
Where the Gothic dome appears,
O'er the trembling groves beneath
Tott'ring with a load of years.

Turn to the contrasted scene,
Where, beyond these hoary piles,
Gay upon the rising green,
Many an Attic building smiles.

Painted gardens-grots-and groves,
Intermingling shade and light,
Lengthen'd vistas, green alcoves,
Join to give the eye delight.

Hamlets-villages, and spires,
Scatter'd on the landscape lie,
Till the distant view retires,
Closing in an azure sky.

More verses by John Cunningham

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