The Destructive Winds of Summer


When flowers of June are in their prime

And hollyhocks and roses climb,

Delphiniums blue

Rival the sky,

And sunflowers tall

Stand by the wall,

Then out of heaven there breathes a gusty sigh

As if the gods were envious of such majesty

Beyond our due.


Then gather winds in mirthless might,

And massing clouds obscure the light;

With rods of rain

Each vaunting bloom

Is stricken low;

And tempests blow

To wreak destruction, havoc, mortal doom,

As if the gods, not satisfied, were making room

To build again.


Despite the gardener’s zealous care

His charges are beyond repair.

His treasure store

Is scattered wide;

And tempest-tost

His wealth is lost.

Thus in the moment of his bounding pride

The greatest triumph is by nature’s gods denied

To teach him more.


Let not the soul with its own worth

Think it deserves to have the earth;

It does not earn

Its right to live;

It is judged by


And those it may of all its talents give,

Cannot succeed unless the gods are operative,

E’en though they spurn !


Weekly Times  14.7.61