|published in: The New York Times, June 12, 1869; "All Quiet Along The Potomac, and Other Poems (1879) OCLC 1306531all editions|
Calmer than midnight's deepest hush
Is the sun-bright Summer nooning,
With its cloudy shadows seeking rest,
That fall on the hillside swooning.
Great Night with its solemn starry eyes,
Over Day's gate asks us whither
We go, what our password is,
To the camp beyond the river.
But sunny Noon with its sleepy smile
Ripples the grain field over,
Without a thought of the silent graves
That may lie beneath the clover.
Knee-deep the drowsy cattle stand
In the water's golden glimmer,
While berry bush and bramble spray
Along the hot wall shimmer.
The plowshare glitters in the sun
Through murdered daisies clinging:
The nested birds leave busy bees
To do the noonday singing.
Bright Noon no eager question asks,
But like an old nurse story
old as she holds us on her breast,
Croons soft of love and glory.
The weary plowman's lazy length
Lies in the shadow narrow,
That clings about the haystack foot,
Careless as guarded sparrow.
Oh, peaceful hour of Summer Noon!
Life has its midnight slumber;
Has it no noonday rest for us,
When cares shall cease to cumber?