August in Vermont

As half through June the wintry spring
Sows nights of frosty shine and sting,
And thrilling winds from glens of snow Sound down the flooded passes cold —
On the first week of August so
The autumn thrusts his sword of gold.
The autumn air, the windy light,
Draw the clouds upward in the night,
And roll the river-mist like tides
Across the rising oats and corn
Up to the birch-fringed mountainsides,
And flooding back before the morn —
The green, blue morning, lifted clear,
Pause and full transport of the year.
O evening light on field and pool!
Dim rose-maroon, lights thin and cool,
Empurpled skeins of scarfing cloud
That cling entangled in the pine
Where crowns of forest darkly crowd
The valley’s pinnacled incline!
In that flushed blue at dusk above
The throbbing Northern Lights might move.
The moons that to that zenith rise
Colder than harvest moonlight gleam, —
Cold as the hunter’s moon and skies,
So filled with blazing frost they seem.
So fades that wash of rose and wine
Across the thrilled and deepened sky
As winter afterglows decline
Among the hills, when streaming high,
The dark-blue shadows drink the red,
And their pooled colors fade and spread.
Three days this foretaste; then once more
The bloomy haze on the sky’s shore
Thickens, and draws the hills away
In its false distance; bluely gray, —
The blue-black-gray of blueberries, —
That utmost summer distance is.
Returns the cricket, piping heat;
The sumach’s ribbony leaves take fire;
The tanning oats, the flushed buckwheat,
In summer noons once more suspire.
And blue as fringing knots of haze,
In golden thickets giant-high,
The twinkling asters trim the ways;
The silken barbs of milkweed fly;
And scarlet August apples fall
Where the slow vines pull down the wall.