A Hot Day By Lough Swilly

William Alexander

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A hot day in September. A white mist
Clung to the vale, and up the hill a blur,
As of thin smoke, part blue, part tenderer,
Stretch'd o'er the corn. The ripples lazily kiss'd
As on the bent I lay their sound to list.
Between Lough Swilly and the mountain spur
I saw a green down stretch without a stir.
A curlew was the only harmonist.
The sole shapes there were gulls, that in the heat
Strutted upon the sward a space each way,
White-plumed; and crows, like crones in shawls of black
Dropp'd glossy from the shoulders to the feet.
But far afield, howe'er may burn the day,
Harvesters work—work's lessons never lack.

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