John Todhunter

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A June Day

The very spirit of summer breathes to-day,
Here where I sun me in a dreamy mood,
And laps the sultry leas, and seems to brood
Tenderly o'er those hazed hills far away.
The air is fragrant with the new-mown hay,
And drowsed with hum of myriad flies pursued
By twittering martins. All yon hillside wood
Is drowned in sunshine till its green looks grey.
No scrap of cloud is in the still blue sky,
Vaporous with heat, from which the foreground trees
Stand out--each leaf cut sharp. The whetted scythe
Makes rustic music for me as I lie,
Watching the gambols of the children blythe,
Drinking the season's sweetness to the lees.

The Marseillaise

What means this mighty chant, wherein its wail
Of some intolerable woe, grown strong
With sense of more intolerable wrong
Swells to a stern victorious march--a gale
Of vengeful wrath? What mean the faces pale,
The fierce resolve, the ecstatic pangs along
Life's fiery ways, the demon thoughts which throng
The gates of awe, when these wild notes assail
The sleeping of our souls ? Hear ye no more
Than the mad foam of revolution's leaven,
Than a roused people's throne-o'erwhelming tread?
Hark! 'tis man's spirit thundering on the shore
Of iron fate; the tramp of Titans dread,
Sworn to dethrone the Gods unjust from Heaven.