The Literary Maiden

A compendium of obscure 19th century writing.

Tag: August

“August” by Francis Ledwidge

I’ve greatly enjoyed reading the poetry of Irish poet and soldier Francis Ledwidge as of late, so I anticipate uploading more of his work in the future. “August” is a personal favorite. Feel free to comment, I’d love your thoughts on Ledwidge. Are you already familiar with his work? Would you like to see more?


By Francis Ledwidge
From Songs of the Fields by Francis Ledwidge

SHE’LL come at dusky first of day,
White over yellow harvest’s song.
Upon her dewy rainbow way
She shall be beautiful and strong.
The lidless eye of noon shall spray
Tan on her ankles in the hay,
Shall kiss her brown the whole day long.

I’ll know her in the windrows, tall
Above the crickets of the hay.
I’ll know her when her odd eyes fall,
One May-blue, one November-grey.
I’ll watch her from the red barn wall
Take down her rusty scythe, and call,
And I will follow her away.


“Midsummer” by Alfred Billings Street

By Alfred Billings Street

An August day! a dreamy haze
Films air, and mingles with the skies,
Sweetly the rich dark sunshine plays,
Bronzing each object where it lies.
Outlines are melted in the gauze
That Nature veils; the fitful breeze
From the thick pine, low murmuring draws;
Then dies in flutterings midst the trees.
The bee is slumbering in the thistle,
And, now and then, a broken whistle
A tread—a hum—a tap—is heard
Through the dry leaves, in grass and bush,
As insect, animal, and bird
Rouse, brief from their lethargic hush.
Then, e’en these pleasant sounds would cease,
And a dead stillness all things lock,
The aspen seem like sculptured rock,
And not a tassel-thread be shaken
The monarch-pine’s deep trance to waken,
And Nature settle prone in drowsy peace.
The misty blue—the distant masses,
The air, in woven purple glimmering,
The shiver transiently that passes
Over the leaves, as though each tree
Gave one brief sigh—the slumberous shimmering
Of the red light—invested seem
With some sweet charm, that soft, serene,
Mellows the gold—the blue—the green
Into mild temper’d harmony,
And melts the sounds that intervene,
As scarce to break the quiet, till we deem
Nature herself transform’d to that of Fancy’s dream.