You can tell it's July.
A summer lassitude sweeps me by,
for hateful and hot is the fury of the sky
that bears whips of flame and arrows of gold
too fierce, too swift, too sharp, too bold,
too bitter in resentment and in pain:
a step, a step, a step, then one is slain.
The sunbeams all bear poison tips:
a scratch, and drowsy weakness grips
the eyes, and languid limbs
are useless till the sunlight dims.
The tyrant throned in summer sky
now flogs the skin, and not a sigh
of cooling wind dares ease the lash;
all flesh is whipped to smoke and ash,
collected like a tax to please
the golden sun with palace-ease.
A sleepy semblance like to death
infects my heartbeat and my breath
and sweeps me to a shady path
half-sheltered from the ceaseless wrath,
as work is idle, left undone,
in laze beneath the summer sun.
I have no humor; humid air
half the land leads to despair;
the heat is sticky and no one dares
to step outside, the sun to bear.