Heat

Original Text: 
The Poems of Archibald Lampman, ed. Duncan Campbell Scott (Toronto: George N. Morang, 1900): 12-13, as reprinted in The Poems of Archibald Lampman (including At the Long Sault), intro. by Margaret Coul of Toronto Press, 1974), and from Among the Millet and Other Poems (Ottawa: Durie, 1888).
1From plains that reel to southward, dim,
2      The road runs by me white and bare;
3Up the steep hill it seems to swim
4      Beyond, and melt into the glare.
5Upward half-way, or it may be
6      Nearer the summit, slowly steals
7A hay-cart, moving dustily
8      With idly clacking wheels.
9By his cart's side the wagoner
10      Is slouching slowly at his ease,
11Half-hidden in the windless blur
12      Of white dust puffiing to his knees.
13This wagon on the height above,
14      From sky to sky on either hand,
15Is the sole thing that seems to move
16      In all the heat-held land.
17Beyond me in the fields the sun
18      Soaks in the grass and hath his will;
19I count the marguerites one by one;
20      Even the buttercups are still.
21On the brook yonder not a breath
22      Disturbs the spider or the midge.
23The water-bugs draw close beneath
24      The cool gloom of the bridge.
25Where the far elm-tree shadows flood
26      Dark patches in the burning grass,
27The cows, each with her peaceful cud,
28      Lie waiting for the heat to pass.
29From somewhere on the slope near by
30      Into the pale depth of the noon
31A wandering thrush slides leisurely
32      His thin revolving tune.
33In intervals of dreams I hear
34      The cricket from the droughty ground;
35The grasshoppers spin into mine ear
36      A small innumerable sound.
37I lift mine eyes sometimes to gaze:
38      The burning sky-line blinds my sight:
39The woods far off are blue with haze:
40      The hills are drenched in light.
41And yet to me not this or that
42      Is always sharp or always sweet;
43In the sloped shadow of my hat
44      I lean at rest, and drain the heat;
45Nay more, I think some blessèd power
46      Hath brought me wandering idly here:
47In the full furnace of this hour
48      My thoughts grow keen and clear.
Publication Start Year: 
1888
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 1997.
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