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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
America: Vols. XXV–XXIX. 1876–79.

New England: Gloucester, Mass.

Midsummer in the City

By Epes Sargent (1813–1880)

O YE keen breezes from the salt Atlantic,

Which to the beach, where memory loves to wander,

On your strong pinions waft reviving coolness,

Bend your course hither!

For in the surf ye scattered to the sunshine

Did we not sport together in my boyhood,

Screaming for joy amid the flashing breakers,

O rude companions?

Then to the meadows beautiful and fragrant,

Where the coy Spring beholds her earliest verdure

Brighten with smiles that rugged seaside hamlet,

How would we hasten!

There under elm-trees affluent in foliage,

High o’er whose summit hovered the sea-eagle,

Through the hot, glaring noontide have we rested,

After our gambols.

Vainly the sailor called you from your slumber:

Like a glazed pavement shone the level ocean;

While, with their snow-white canvas idly drooping,

Stood the tall vessels.

And when at length exulting ye awakened,

Rushed to the beach, and ploughed the liquid acres,

How have I chased you through the shivered billows,

In my frail shallop!

Playmates, old playmates, hear my invocation!

In the close town I waste this golden summer,

Where piercing cries and sounds of wheels in motion

Ceaselessly mingle.

When shall I feel your breath upon my forehead?

When shall I hear you in the elm-trees’ branches?

When shall we wrestle in the briny surges,

Friends of my boyhood?