All Quiet along the Potomac and other poems/Noonday Rest


CALMER than midnight's deepest hush
Is the sun-bright summer nooning,
With its cloudy shadows seeking rest,
That fall on the hill-side 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 ploughshare glitters in the sun,
Through murdered daisies clinging;
The nested birds leave busy bees
To do the noonday singing.

Bright Noon no eager questions asks,
But, like an old dame's story,
Told as she holds us on her breast,
Croons soft of love and glory.

The weary ploughman's lazy length
Lies in the shadow narrow
That clings about the haystack foot,
Careless as guarded sparrow.

O peaceful hour of summer noon!
Life has its midnight slumber;
Has it no noonday rest for us,
When cares shall cease to cumber?