Poetry of Kansas

A Summer Night.

The twilight ends; the last faint crimson stain
    Has faded from the west; the deep blue sky
Deeper and darker grows; and once again
    God's lamps are lighted in the dome on high.
Above yon oak-crowned hill, whose trailing clouds
Hung low and slack at noon,
Now, round and red, from out their torn white shrouds,
Steps forth the harvest moon.
Thus she came forth last night; thus will she come,
    The next night and the next. Oh, magic time!
The full moon wanes not at the harvest time.
    And night's grand poem flows in even rhyme.
The grain is gathered; hills of tawny gold
Begem the earth's shorn breast.
Hard hands are folded; summer's tale is told;
The sickle lies in rest.
The night has wondrous voices. At my door,
    I sit and listen to its many tones.
The wind comes through the woods with muffled roar,
    The brook goes rippling on its bedded stones.
I hear the raccoons call among the corn,
The night-hawk's lonely cry;
A dismal owl sends out his note forlorn,
One whip-po-will sings nigh.
And there are other voices; all the grass
    Is peopled with a crowd of tiny things,
We see them not, yet crush them as we pass;
    These sing all night, and clap their puny wings.
Beneath my very feet, calls clear and strong,
A cricket, slyly hid;
While at my elbow___well I know his Song___
Rattles a katydid.
Poor, puny things! your gala nears its end___
    There comes a hint of Autumn in the wind
That bends the tassled corn; the night grows chill;
    Short, and yet shorter, grows each passing day;
The year is waxing old.
The frost waits in the north, not far away;___
The summer's tale is told.

__Ellen P. Allerton.

Walls of Corn and Other Poems
Ellen P. Allerton
(Hiawatha, KS: Harrington Printing Company. 1894)
Pages 238-239

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December 11, 2002 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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