A First Series of Hymns and Songs/Descriptive Songs/Morning, Noon, and Evening

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For other versions of this work, see Day, a Pastoral.

53. Morning, Noon, and Evening.

Morning.First Child's Song.

Now the sun shines o'er the hill,
Now the morning breaketh clear,
Chanticleer with clarion shrill
Waketh all the farm-yard near.
Swiftly from the mountain's brow,
Shadows nursed by night retire,
And the peeping sunbeam now
Paints with gold the village-spire.

From the low-roof'd cottage ridge
See the chatt'ring swallow spring;
Darting through the one-arch'd bridge,
Quick she dips her dappled wing.
Now the pine-tree's waving top
Gently meets the morning gale,
Lambkins now begin to crop
Daisies on the dewy vale.

(Turning to the company present)

Tell me, sisters, am I wrong?
Has not Morn a pretty song?

Noon.Second Child's Song.

By the brook the shepherd dines,
From the glowing noontide heat
Shelter'd by the branching pines
Hanging o'er his grassy seat.
Cattle court the breezes bland
Where the streamlet wanders cool,
Or in languid silence stand
Midway in the marshy pool.

Languid is the landscape round,
Till the fresh descending shower,
Grateful to the thirsty ground,
Raises ev'ry fainting flower.
Now the hill, the hedge, are green,
Now the warbler's throat's in tune
Blithesome is the verdant scene,
Brighten'd by the beams of Noon.

(Turning to the company present)

Gentle sisters, what say you?
Does not Noon sing sweetly too?

Evening.—Third Child's Song.

O'er the heath the heifer strays
Free, her furrow'd task is done;
Now the village windows blaze,
Burnish'd by the setting sun.
Now the lonely owlet peeps
From the barn or twisted brake,
And the blue mist slowly creeps
Curling on the silver lake

As the trout in speckled pride,
Playful from its bosom springs,
To the banks a ruffled tide
Verges in successive rings.
Freshly plays the Evening air,
Sweetly fall its shadows gray;
Even man forgets his care,
Thoughtless for the coming day.

(Turning to the company present)

Gentle sisters, of the three,
Give you not the prize to me?

Adapted by the Editor from a Pastoral of J. Cunningham.

This song may be sung by three children, personating respectively Morning, Noon, and Evening; and when thus sung, each child at the end of its song may turn to the company present and make its appeal, "Sisters, tell me," &c.