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A Summer Wind

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O wind, thou hast thy kingdom in the trees,
        And all thy royalties
        Sweep through the land to-day.
              It is mid June,
And thou, with all thy instruments in tune,
              Thine orchestra
Of heaving fields and heavy swinging fir,
              Strikest a lay
              That doth rehearse
Her ancient freedom to the universe.
        All other sound in awe
              Repeats its law:
        The bird is mute; the sea
        Sucks up its waves; from rain
        The burthened clouds refrain,
To listen to thee in thy leafery,
              Thou unconfined,
Lavish, large, soothing, refluent summer wind.


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A Summer Wind

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  • Under the pseudonym Michael Field, Katherine Harris Bradley and her niece Edith Emma Cooper collaboratively published eight books of poetry and twenty-seven plays in late 19th-century Britain. The two women enjoyed a warm reception as Field in Victorian literary circles upon the release of their first major verse drama, Callirhoë and Fair Rosamond (1884), even garnering the admiration of Walter Pater, George Meredith, and Robert Browning. Though Browning, a lifelong friend, later let slip Field’s true identity and tempered the enthusiasm surrounding ‘his’ debut, Cooper and Bradley would nevertheless remain an integral part of the British literary scene up until their deaths from cancer within nine months of each other in 1913 and 1914.

    Born to a wealthy tobacco industry family in 1846, Katherine Bradley was well-educated in the arts and sufficiently financially independent to pursue that interest to the exclusion of work and marriage. She lived with and cared for...

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