(lyrics by Arthur H. Goodenough,
set to "How Can I Keep From Singing" by Erin Hathway Weaver)

When August days are hot and long,
   And the August hills are hazy, 
And clouds are slow and winds also,
   And brooks are low and lazy.
When beats the fierce midsummer sun,
   Upon the drying grasses;
A modest minstrel sings his song
   To any soul that passes.

A modest, yet insistent bard
   Who while the landscape slumbers;
And nature seems, herself asleep,
   Pours out his soul in numbers.
His song is in a tongue unknown,
   Yet those, methink, who hear it
Drink in its healing melody
   Renewed in frame and spirit.

His life is brief as is the leaf
   To summer branches clinging!
But yet no thought of death or grief,
   He mentions in his singing.
No epic strain is his to sing;--
   No tale of loss or glory;--
He has no borrowed heroines;
   His heroes are not gory.

He is no scholar; all he knows
   Was taught by his condition,
He never studied synthesis,
   Nor simple composition.
His lays are all of rustic themes;
   Of summer's joys and treasure
Yet scarce could Homer's masterpiece,
   Afford us keener pleasure.

text: Springfield Republican, 1921 [Google Books]

biography: Brattleboro Historical Society article [Brattleboro Reformer]

biography: (same as above) [Facebook]

melody: How Can I Keep From Singing [Mainly Norfolk]