Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. V. Nature
Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume V. Nature.  1904.
II. Light: Day: Night
A Midsummer’s Noon in the Australian Forest
Charles Harpur (1813–1868)
NOT a sound disturbs the air,
There is quiet everywhere;
Over plains and over woods
What a mighty stillness broods!
All the birds and insects keep        5
Where the coolest shadows sleep;
Even the busy ants are found
Resting in their pebbled mound;
Even the locust clingeth now
Silent to the barky bough:        10
Over hills and over plains
Quiet, vast and slumbrous, reigns.
Only there ’s a drowsy humming
From yon warm lagoon slow-coming:
’T is the dragon-hornet—see!        15
All bedaubed resplendently
Yellow on a tawny ground—
Each rich spot not square nor round,
Rudely heart-shaped, as it were
The blurred and hasty impress there        20
Of a vermeil-crusted seal
Dusted o’er with golden meal.
Only there ’s a droning where
Yon bright beetle shines in air,
Tracks it in its gleaming flight        25
With a slanting beam of light
Rising in the sunshine higher,
Till its shards flame out like fire.
Every other thing is still,
Save the ever-wakeful rill,        30
Whose cool murmur only throws
Cooler comfort round repose;
Or some ripple in the sea,
Of leafy boughs, where, lazily,
Tired summer, in her bower        35
Turning with the noontide hour,
Heaves a slumbrous breath ere she
Once more slumbers peacefully.
Oh, ’t is easeful here to lie
Hidden from noon’s scorching eye,        40
In this grassy cool recess
Musing thus of quietness.

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2015 · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors · World Lit.