By George Moses Horton
Esteville begins to burn;
The auburn fields of harvest rise;
The torrid flames again return,
And thunders roll along the skies.
Perspiring Cancer lifts his head,
And roars terrific from on high;
Whose voice the timid creatures dread;
From which they strive with awe to fly.
The night-hawk ventures from his cell,
And starts his note in evening air;
He feels the heat his bosom swell,
Which drives away the gloom of fear.
Thou noisy insect, start thy drum;
Rise lamp-like bugs to light the train;
And bid sweet Philomela come,
And sound in front the nightly strain.
The bee begins her ceaseless hum,
And doth with sweet exertions rise;
And with delight she stores her comb,
And well her rising stock supplies.
Let sportive children well beware,
While sprightly frisking o’er the green;
And carefully avoid the snare,
Which lurks beneath the smiling scene.
The mistress bird assumes her nest,
And broods in silence on the tree,
Her note to cease, her wings at rest,
She patient waits her young to see.
Source: African-American Poetry of the Nineteenth Century: An Anthology (University of Illinois Press, 1992)
More By This Poet
Like Brothers We Meet
Like heart-loving brothers we meet,
And still the loud thunders of strife,
The blaze of fraternity kindles most sweet,
There’s nothing more pleasing in life.
The black cloud of faction retreats,
The poor is no longer depressed,
See those once discarded resuming their...
I lov’d thee from the earliest dawn,
When first I saw thy beauty’s ray,
And will, until life’s eve comes on,
And beauty’s blossom fades away;
And when all things go well with thee,
With smiles and tears...
More Poems about Nature
How to Triumph Like a Girl
I like the lady horses best,
how they make it all look easy,
like running 40 miles per hour
is as fun as taking a nap, or grass.
I like their lady horse swagger,
after winning. Ears up, girls, ears up!
But mainly, let’s be honest,...
Sestina in Prose
It was like climbing a mountain to those of us who’d climbed one. To the others, it was like, I suppose, something else. In other words, we let everybody find her own figure of speech.
Not that it—speech—lay thick on the...