Lughnasadh Hymn

Hymn for Lughnasadh

Decline a bit more, O Sun Unconquered:
In your fading is our harvest secured.
Your course runs swift and your tread’s less measured
over ripe fields where the first fruit’s matured.
The farmers market stalls are filled with corn;
there are bushel bins of fresh tomatoes,
baskets of of cucumbers and yellow squash.
Chilies, basil and dill lie freshly shorn
beside mountains of russet potatoes.
Harvest begins with such colorful splash.

Soon enough we’ll add orange to the plate,
when pumpkin and yam make their appearing.
Yet strawberries and blueberries abate;
the hour for hot cider is nearing.
Summer’s last blossoms wilt in the dog days;
snakes tango in a bed beneath boulder,
and honey bees guard their queen more closely.
Dawn wraps herself in thunderstorm’s cold grays:
another year wiser — though not older —
she takes to late summer uneasily…

but more time in bed seems almost painless.
She lets her boss sleep in some more each day.
Green grasshopper seems confused and helpless,
now that his camouflage has dried away.
Sparrow and robin both mark out his end,
as heron marks minnow, and hawk marks wren:
each species plans another’s overthrow
and conspires too how best to defend
against foes, and chance, and the hands of men,
to last through leaf-turn, and onset of snow.

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