Now does old Sol, triumphant high, look down
Upon such men and things as court his sight;
And droning flies make dizzy circling flight;
While toilers seek the shade, their rest to crown.
Time seems to hang awhile, his breath to gain,
Which soon must needs be spent his ends to fill,
Directed by the mighty Being’s will.
Now, drowsy lulled, exhausted wits regain
Fresh vigour, full enough the day to last;
Man’s inner need good courtesy receives
’Neath city roof and canopy of leaves —
For swain and dandy both are loth to fast.
O glad respite, inestimable boon
To slaves of habit, surely art thou, Noon!
William Blocksidge, Songs o’ the South, London: Watts, 1908, p. 47
art = (archaic) are
dandy = a man who places a lot of emphasis on being fashionable and stylish in clothes and manners; a fop
loth = reluctant or unwilling; a variant spelling of “loath” (distinct from “loathe”, being to detest or hate)
’neath = (vernacular) beneath
Sol = the Sun; in Roman mythology, Sol was god of the Sun; in Norse mythology, Sól was goddess of the Sun
swain = a young male admirer, lover, or suitor; also may refer to a country lad, peasant, or shepherd
thou = (archaic) you