A CALENDAR OF SONNETS: AUGUST
By Helen Hunt Jackson
Silence again. The glorious symphony
Hath need of pause and interval of peace.
Some subtle signal bids all sweet sounds cease,
Save hum of insects’ aimless industry.
Pathetic summer seeks by blazonry
Of color to conceal her swift decrease.
Weak subterfuge! Each mocking day doth fleece
A blossom, and lay bare her poverty.
Poor middle-aged summer! Vain this show!
Whole fields of Golden-Rod cannot offset
One meadow with a single violet;
And well the singing thrush and lily know,
Spite of all artifice which her regret
Can deck in splendid guise, their time to go!
By William B. Tappan
Winter! there are among the race of men,
Strangers to thought who slander thee;
Thy frowns appal, thy smiles escape their ken,
Far lovelier the garb thou wear’st to me.
I love thy rocking storms to hear;
Thy blasts, that bid the aged mountains nod,
Thy winds are music to mine ear,
To me their murmuring is the voice of God.
Thou of the kindly charities!
‘Tis thine to thaw man’s heart–the frigid soul,
Sterner than frost, is melted, nor denies
Its aid to bid the tempest-tossed be whole.
Yea mother! thou art not austere;
Though frozen be thy aspect, bliss is thine
Unknown to fairer May. Upon thy shrine
Ever is seen the grateful orphan’s tear.
Parent of treasures, thou!
Should I not love thee? O, can aught compare
With thy dear fireside joys?–the tranquil brow,
The wife’s warm smile and children’s kiss are there.