Midsummer

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After the May time, and after the June time,
   Rare with blossoms and perfumes sweet,
Cometh the round world's royal noon time,
   The red midsummer of blazing heat.
When the sun, like an eye that never closes,
   Bends on the earth its fervid gaze,
And the winds are still, and the crimson roses
   Droop and wither and die in its rays.

Unto my heart has come that season,
   O my lady, my worshipped one,
When over the stars of Pride and Reason
   Sails Love's cloudless, noonday sun.
Like a great red ball in my bosom burning
   With fires that nothing can quench or tame.
It glows till my heart itself seems turning
   Into a liquid lake of flame.

The hopes half shy, and the sighs all tender,
   The dreams and fears of an earlier day,
Under the noontide's royal splendour,
   Droop like roses and wither away.
From the hills of doubt no winds are blowing,
   From the isle of pain no breeze is sent.
Only the sun in a white heat glowing
   Over an ocean of great content.

Sink, O my soul, in this golden glory,
   Die, O my heart, in thy rapture-swoon,
For the Autumn must come with its mournful story,
   And Love's midsummer will fade too soon.

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
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