Friday, August 07, 2015

"On summer day that shone here, When we were all alone here" the poetry of John Hay #QotD

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While in New Hampshire, I had the chance to visit The Fells, the summer home of three generations of the Hay family, starting with the great statesman, John Hay.

In addition to his political work, he was also a quite popular poet; an example of his work is below ... not quite to our current tastes, perhaps!

On the Bluff

Oh grandly flowing River!
   O silver-gliding River!
Thy springing willows shiver
   In the sunset as of old;
   They shiver in the silence
Of the willow-whitened islands,
While the sun-bars and the sand-bars
   Fill air and wave with gold.

O gay, oblivious River!
O sunset-kindled River!
Do you remember ever
   The eyes and skies so blue

On a summer day that shone here,
When we were all alone here,
And the blue eyes were too wise
   To speak the love they knew?

O stern impassive River !
O still unanswering River !
The shivering willows quiver
   As the night-winds moan and rave.
From the past a voice is calling,
From heaven a star is falling,
And dew swells in the bluebells
   Above her hillside grave.

Pike County ballads and other pieces by John Hay (full text)
Published 1871
Publisher Boston, J.R. Osgood and company

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