Sources for Raintree County

--Poem by John W. Shockley--

...'Tis Summer and the days are long


. . .We swam the blue celestial stream
Safe into daybreak with the song--
'Tis summer and the days are long.

Summer was his season and his temple. The perfect weather of his soul was in the season of the long midsummer days that rose and blazed and waned above the Road and the Railroad, while the carriages passed in dust and the trains in wailing fury all day long; and in the little rectangle of the family ground, becalmed between the two great bands of change, close by the cornfield in the backlot, beside the sundial with the inscription, I record only the sunshine, her father would be sitting in his old rocker, his long blue eyes enclosed in their intricate net of suncreated lines and wrinkles, propping his head on his hand, holding a neglected book, a copy of the Indianapolis News-Historian, or perhaps notebook and pencil; and the sleepy noises of the little town--cries of children, murmur of women at backfences, jingle of harness--would rise and fall like surf on white sands; and the whole level, sun-enamored earth of Raintree County would lie in a bland repose outward from the intersection of Waycross--and it was summer and the days were long.

--From, Raintree County, pp. 757


While acknowledging its quaint Tennysonian echoes, Lockridge loved this poem [by his grandfather], especially the last three lines. --LL

More: Author in the Epic (Essay, pp. 271-309 of Shade of the Raintree)

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