By The Summer Sea

Sunlight and shrill cicada and the low,
Slow, sleepy kissing of the sea and shore,
And rumor of the wind. The morning wore
A sullen face of fog that lifted slow,
Letting her eyes gleam through of grayest glow;
Wearing a look like that which once she wore
When, Gloucesterward from Dogtown there, they bore
Some old witchwife with many a gibe and blow.
But now the day has put off every care,
And sits at peace beside the smiling sea,
Dreaming bright dreams with lazy-lidded eyes:
One is a castle, precipiced in air,
And one a golden galleons can it be
'Tis but the cloudworld of the sunset skies?

The Close Of Summer

The melancholy of the woods and plains
When summer nears its close; the drowsy, dim,
Unfathomed sadness of the mists that swim
About the valleys after night-long rains;
The humming garden, with it tawny chains
Of gourds and blossoms, ripened to the brim;
And then at eve the low moon's quiet rim,
And the slow sunset, whose one cloud remains,
Fill me with peace that is akin to tears;
Unutterable peace, that moves as in a dream
Mid fancies, sweeter than it knows or tells:
That sees and hears with other eyes and ears,
And walks with Memory beside a stream
That flows through fields of fadeless asphodels.

Meeting In Summer

A tranquil bar
Of rosy twilight under dusk's first star.

A glimmering sound
Of whispering waters over grassy ground.

A sun-sweet smell
Of fresh-reaped hay from dewy field and dell.

A lazy breeze
Jostling the ripeness from the apple-trees.

A vibrant cry,
Passing, then gone, of bullbats in the sky.

And faintly now
The katydid upon the shadowy bough.

And far-off then
The little owl within the lonely glen.

And soon, full soon,
The silvery arrival of the moon.

And, to your door,
The path of roses I have trod before.

And, sweetheart, you!
Among the roses and the moonlit dew.

Sad-Hearted spirit of the solitudes,
Who comest through the ruin-wedded woods!
Gray-gowned with fog, gold-girdled with the gloom
Of tawny twilights; burdened with perfume
Of rain-wet uplands, chilly with the mist;
And all the beauty of the fire-kissed
Cold forests crimsoning thy indolent way,
Odorous of death and drowsy with decay.
I think of thee as seated 'mid the showers
Of languid leaves that cover up the flowers,
The little flower-sisterhoods, whom June
Once gave wild sweetness to, as to a tune
A singer gives her sours wild melody,
Watching the squirrel store his granary.
Or, 'mid old orchards I have pictured thee:
Thy hair's profusion blown about thy back;
One lovely shoulder bathed with gypsy black;
Upon thy palm one nestling check, and sweet
The rosy russets tumbled at thy feet.
Was it a voice lamenting for the flowers?
A heart-sick bird that sang of happier hours?
A cricket dirging days that soon must die?
Or did the ghost of Summer wander by?

The dawn is a warp of fever,
The eve is a woof of fire;
And the month is a singing weaver
Weaving a red desire.

With stars Dawn dices with Even
For the rosy gold they heap
On the blue of the day's deep heaven,
On the black of the night's far deep.

It's 'Reins to the blood!' and 'Marry!'
The season's a prince who burns
With the teasing lusts that harry
His heart for a wench who spurns.

It's 'Crown us a beaker with sherry,
To drink to the doxy's heels;
A tankard of wine o' the berry,
To lips like a cloven peel's.

' 'S death! if a king be saddened,
Right so let a fool laugh lies:
But wine! when a king is gladdened,
And a woman's waist and her eyes.'

He hath shattered the loom of the weaver,
And left but a leaf that flits,
He hath seized heaven's gold, and a fever
Of mist and of frost is its.

He hath tippled the buxom beauty,
And gotten her hug and her kiss
The wide world's royal booty
To pile at her feet for this.

The End Of Summer

THE rose, that wrote its message on the noon's
Bright manuscript, has turned her perfumed face
Towards Fall, and waits, heart-heavy, for the moon's
Pale flower to take her place.
With eyes distraught, and dark disheveled hair,
The Season dons a tattered cloak of storm
And waits with Night that, darkly, seems to share
Her trouble and alarm.
It is the close of summer. In the sky
The sunset lit a fire of drift and sat
Watching the last Day, robed in empire, die
Upon the burning ghat.
The first leaf crimsons and the last rose falls,
And Night goes stalking on, her cloak of rain
Dripping, and followed through her haunted halls
By all Death's phantom train.
The sorrow of the Earth and all that dies,
And all that suffers, in her breast she bears;
Outside the House of Life she stops and cries
The burden of her cares.
Then on the window knocks with crooked hands,
Her tree-like arms to Heaven wildly-hurled:
Love hears her crying, 'Who then understands? —
Has God forgot the world?'

A Night In June

White as a lily moulded of Earth's milk
That eve the moon bloomed in a hyacinth sky;
Soft in the gleaming glens the wind went by,
Faint as a phantom clothed in unseen silk:
Bright as a naiad's leap, from shine to shade
The runnel twinkled through the shaken brier;
Above the hills one long cloud, pulsed with fire,
Flashed like a great enchantment-welded blade.
And when the western sky seemed some weird land,
And night a witching spell at whose command
One sloping star fell green from heav'n; and deep
The warm rose opened for the moth to sleep;
Then she, consenting, laid her hands in his,
And lifted up her lips for their first kiss.


There where they part, the porch's steps are strewn
With wind-blown petals of the purple vine;
Athwart the porch the shadow of a pine
Cleaves the white moonlight; and like some calm rune
Heaven says to Earth, shines the majestic moon;
And now a meteor draws a lilac line
Across the welkin, as if God would sign
The perfect poem of this night of June.
The wood-wind stirs the flowering chestnut-tree,
Whose curving blossoms strew the glimmering grass
Like crescents that wind-wrinkled waters glass;
And, like a moonstone in a frill of flame,
The dewdropp trembles on the peony,
As in a lover's heart his sweetheart's name.

White clouds, like thistledown at fault,
That drift through heaven's azure vault.
The sun beams down; the weedy ground
Vibrates with many an insect sound.
Blackberry-lilies in the noon
Lean to the creek with eyes a-swoon,
Where, in a shallow, silver gleams
Of minnows and a heron dreams
An old road, clouding pale the heat
Behind a slow hoof's muffled beat:
And there, hill-gazing at the skies,
A pond, within whose languor lies
A twinkle, like an eye that smiles
In thought; that with a dream beguiles
The day: a. dream of clouds that drift,
And arms the willow trees uplift,
Protectingly, as if to hide
The wildbird on its nest that cried.
Now mists that mass thesunset-dyes
Build an Arabia in the skies,
Through which the sun in pomp retires,
Torched to his room with saffron fires;
And 'thwart his palace door is laid
A crescent sign, a moony blade,
Then glittering in a cloud is sheathed;
And, dripping crimson, fire-wreathed,
A magic scimetar of flame
Is slowly drawn before the same.
The door of Day is closed; its bar
Put up, one bright and golden star;
While, crowding all the corridors
Of Dusk, the shadows, blackamoors
Of darkness, glide; and zephyrs sweep
Mist-gowns of musk through halls of Sleep
Dim odalisques of Night, who wait
Upon their lord who lies in state.

The Dance Of Summer

Summer, gowned in catnip-gray,
Goes her weedy wildwood way,
Where with rosehip-buttoned coat,
Cardinal flower-plume afloat,
With the squirrel-folk at play,
Brown September, smiling, stands,
Chieftain of the Romany bands
Of the Fall a gypsy crew,
Glimmering in lobelia-blue,
Gold and scarlet down the lands.
Summer, with a redbird trill,
Dares him follow at her will,
There to romp in tree and vine,
Drink the sunset's crimson wine,
And on beauty feast his fill.
He his Autumn whistle takes,
And his dark hair backward shakes;
Pipes a note, and bids her on,
Dancing like a woodland faun,
And she follows through the brakes.
She must follow: she is bound
By the wildness of the sound.
Is it love or necromance?
Down the world he leads the dance,
And the woods go whirling round.
Wildly briars clutch and hold;
Branches reach out arms of gold;
Naught can stay them. Pipe, and follow
Over hill and over hollow
Till the night fall dark and cold.
Now her gown is torn in shreds,
And her gossamer veil is threads
Streaming round her nakedness;
And the flowers, at her distress,
Weep and hide their drooping heads.
Round her whirl the frightened leaves,
And the stammering water grieves;
Nut and haw the forest throws
At her as she dancing goes
To the pipe that magic weaves.
Death will have her. She must spin
Till, a skeleton, she win
To the land where Winter dwells,
Where shall end Fall's gipsy spells,
And her long white sleep begin.


Can freckled August,-drowsing warm and blond
Beside a wheat-shock in the white-topped mead,
In her hot hair the yellow daisies wound,-
O bird of rain, lend aught but sleepy heed
To thee? when no plumed weed, no feathered seed
Blows by her; and no ripple breaks the pond,
That gleams like flint within its rim of grasses,
Through which the dragonfly forever passes
Like splintered diamond.


Drouth weights the trees; and from the farmhouse eaves
The locust, pulse-beat of the summer day,
Throbs; and the lane, that shambles under leaves
Limp with the heat-a league of rutty way-
Is lost in dust; and sultry scents of hay
Breathe from the panting meadows heaped with sheaves-
Now, now, O bird, what hint is there of rain,
In thirsty meadow or on burning plain,
That thy keen eye perceives?


But thou art right. Thou prophesiest true.
For hardly hast thou ceased thy forecasting,
When, up the western fierceness of scorched blue,
Great water-carrier winds their buckets bring
Brimming with freshness. How their dippers ring
And flash and rumble! lavishing large dew
On corn and forest land, that, streaming wet,
Their hilly backs against the downpour set,
Like giants, loom in view.


The butterfly, safe under leaf and flower,
Has found a roof, knowing how true thou art;
The bumblebee, within the last half-hour,
Has ceased to hug the honey to its heart;
While in the barnyard, under shed and cart,
Brood-hens have housed.-But I, who scorned thy power,
Barometer of birds,-like August there,-
Beneath a beech, dripping from foot to hair,
Like some drenched truant, cower.

Along The Stream

Where the violet shadows brood
Under cottonwoods and beeches,
Through whose leaves the restless reaches
Of the river glance, I've stood,
While the red-bird and the thrush
Set to song the morning hush.

There, when woodland hills encroach
On the shadowy winding waters,
And the bluets, April's daughters,
At the darling Spring's approach,
Star their myriads through the trees,
All the land is one with peace.

Under some imposing cliff,
That, with bush and tree and boulder,
Thrusts a gray, gigantic shoulder
O'er the stream, I've oared a skiff,
While great clouds of berg-white hue
Lounged along the noonday blue.

There, when harvest heights impend
Over shores of rippling summer,
And to greet the fair new-comer,
June, the wildrose thickets bend
In a million blossoms dressed
All the land is one with rest.

On some rock, where gaunt the oak
Reddens and the sombre cedar
Darkens, like a sachem leader,
I have lain and watched the smoke
Of the steamboat, far away,
Trailed athwart the dying day.

There, when margin waves reflect
Autumn colors, gay and sober,
And the Indian-girl, October,
Wampum-like in berries decked,
Sits beside the leaf-strewn streams,
All the land is one with dreams.

Through the bottoms where, out-tossed
By the wind's wild hands, ashiver
Lean the willows o'er the river,
I have walked in sleet and frost,
While beneath the cold round moon,
Frozen, gleamed the long lagoon.

There, when leafless woods uplift
Spectral arms the storm-blasts splinter,
And the hoary trapper, Winter,
Builds his camp of ice and drift,
With his snow-pelts furred and shod,
All the land is one with God.

Music Of Summer


Thou sit'st among the sunny silences
Of terraced hills and woodland galleries,
Thou utterance of all calm melodies,
Thou lutanist of Earth's most affluent lute,-
Where no false note intrudes
To mar the silent music,-branch and root,-
Charming the fields ripe, orchards and deep woods,
To song similitudes
Of flower and seed and fruit.


Oft have I seen thee, in some sensuous air,
Bewitch the broad wheat-acres everywhere
To imitated gold of thy deep hair:
The peach, by thy red lips' delicious trouble,
Blown into gradual dyes
Of crimson; and beheld thy magic double-
Dark-blue with fervid influence of thine eyes-
The grapes' rotundities,
Bubble by purple bubble.


Deliberate uttered into life intense,
Out of thy soul's melodious eloquence
Beauty evolves its just preeminence:
The lily, from some pensive-smitten chord
Drawing significance
Of purity, a visible hush stands: starred
With splendor, from thy passionate utterance,
The rose writes its romance
In blushing word on word.


As star by star Day harps in Evening,
The inspiration of all things that sing
Is in thy hands and from their touch takes wing:
All brooks, all birds,-whom song can never sate,-
The leaves, the wind and rain,
Green frogs and insects, singing soon and late,
Thy sympathies inspire, thy heart's refrain,
Whose sounds invigorate
With rest life's weary brain.


And as the Night, like some mysterious rune,
Its beauty makes emphatic with the moon,
Thou lutest us no immaterial tune:
But where dim whispers haunt the cane and corn,
By thy still strain made strong,
Earth's awful avatar,-in whom is born
Thy own deep music,-labors all night long
With growth, assuring Morn
Assumes with onward song.

Now 'tis the time when, tall,
The long blue torches of the bellflower gleam
Among the trees; and, by the wooded stream,
In many a fragrant ball,
Blooms of the button-bush fall.

Let us go forth and seek
Woods where the wild plums redden and the beech
Plumps its packed burs; and, swelling, just in reach,
The pawpaw, emerald sleek,
Ripens along the creek.

Now 'tis the time when ways
Of glimmering green flaunt white the misty plumes
Of the black-cohosh; and through bramble glooms,
A blur of orange rays,
The butterfly-blossoms blaze.

Let us go forth and hear
The spiral music that the locusts beat,
And that small spray of sound, so grassy sweet,
Dear to a country ear,
The cricket's summer cheer.

Now golden celandine
Is hairy hung with silvery sacks of seeds,
And bugled o'er with freckled gold, like beads,
Beneath the fox-grape vine,
The jewel-weed's blossoms shine.

Let us go forth and see
The dragon- and the butterfly, like gems,
Spangling the sunbeams; and the clover stems,
Weighed down by many a bee,
Nodding mellifluously.

Now morns are full of song;
The catbird and the redbird and the jay
Upon the hilltops rouse the rosy day,
Who, dewy, blithe, and strong,
Lures their wild wings along.

Now noons are full of dreams;
The clouds of heaven and the wandering breeze
Follow a vision; and the flowers and trees,
The hills and fields and streams,
Are lapped in mystic gleams.

The nights are full of love;
The stars and moon take up the golden tale
Of the sunk sun, and passionate and pale,
Mixing their fires above,
Grow eloquent thereof.

Such days are like a sigh
That beauty heaves from a full heart of bliss:
Such nights are like the sweetness of a kiss
On lips that half deny,
The warm lips of July.

Clad on with glowing beauty and the peace,
Benign, of calm maturity, she stands
Among her meadows and her orchard-lands,
And on her mellowing gardens and her trees,
Out of the ripe abundance of her hands
Bestows increase
And fruitfulness, as, wrapped in sunny ease,
Blue-eyed and blonde she goes
Upon her bosom Summer's richest rose.


And he who follows where her footsteps lead,
By hill and rock, by forest-side and stream,
Shall glimpse the glory of her visible dream,
In flower and fruit, in rounded nut and seed:
She, in whose path the very shadows gleam;
Whose humblest weed
Seems lovelier than June's loveliest flower, indeed,
And sweeter to the smell
Than April's self within a rainy dell.


Hers is a sumptuous simplicity
Within the fair Republic of her flowers,
Where you may see her standing hours on hours,
Breast-deep in gold, soft-holding up a bee
To her hushed ear; or sitting under bowers
Of greenery,
A butterfly a-tilt upon her knee;
Or lounging on her hip,
Dancing a cricket on her finger-tip.


Ay, let me breathe hot scents that tell of you;
The hoary catnip and the meadow-mint,
On which the honour of your touch doth print
Itself as odour. Let me drink the hue
Of iron-weed and mist-flow'r here that hint,
With purple and blue,
The rapture that your presence doth imbue
Their inmost essence with,
Immortal though as transient as a myth.


Yea, let me feed on sounds that still assure
Me where you hide: the brooks', whose happy din
Tells where, the deep retired woods within,
Disrobed, you bathe; the birds', whose drowsy lure
Tells where you slumber, your warm nestling chin
Soft on the pure,
Pink cushion of your palm.. . What better cure
For care and memory's ache
Than to behold you so, and watch you wake!

There is a poetry that speaks
Through common things: the grasshopper,
That in the hot weeds creaks and creaks,
Says all of summer to my ear:
And in the cricket's cry I hear
The fireside speak, and feel the frost
Work mysteries of silver near
On country casements, while, deep lost
In snow, the gatepost seems a sheeted ghost.

And other things give rare delight:
Those guttural harps the green-frogs tune,
Those minstrels of the falling night,
That hail the sickle of the moon
From grassy pools that glass her lune:
Or, all of August in its loud
Dry cry, the locust's call at noon,
That tells of heat and never a cloud
To veil the pitiless sun as with a shroud.

The rain, whose cloud dark-lids the moon,
The great white eyeball of the night,
Makes music for me; to its tune
I hear the flowers unfolding white,
The mushroom growing, and the slight
Green sound of grass that dances near;
The melon ripening with delight;
And in the orchard, soft and clear,
The apple redly rounding out its sphere.

The grigs make music as of old,
To which the fairies whirl and shine
Within the moonlight's prodigal gold,
On woodways wild with many a vine:
When all the wilderness with wine
Of stars is drunk, I hear it say
'Is God restricted to confine
His wonders only to the day,
That yields the abstract tangible to clay?'

And to my ear the mind of Morn,
When on her rubric forehead far
One star burns big, lifts a vast horn
Of wonder where all murmurs are:
In which I hear the waters war,
The torrent and the blue abyss,
And pines, that terrace bar on bar
The mountain side, like lovers' kiss,
And whisper words where naught but grandeur is.

The jutting crags, all iron-veined
With ore, the peaks, where eagles scream,
That pour their cataracts, rainbow-stained,
Like hair, in many a mountain stream,
Can lift my soul beyond the dream
Of all religions; make me scan
No mere external or extreme,
But inward pierce the outward plan
And learn that rocks have souls as well as man.

Summer Noontide

The slender snail clings to the leaf,
Gray on its silvered underside;
And slowly, slowlier than the snail, with brief
Bright steps, whose ripening touch foretells the sheaf,
Her warm hands berry-dyed,
Comes down the tanned Noontide.

The pungent fragrance of the mint
And pennyroyal drench her gown,
That leaves long shreds of trumpet-blossom tint
Among the thorns, and everywhere the glint
Of gold and white and brown
Her flowery steps waft down.

The leaves, like hands with emerald veined,
Along her way try their wild best
To reach the jewel whose hot hue was drained
From some rich rose that all the June contained
The butterfly, soft pressed
Upon her sunny breast.

Her shawl, the lace-like elder bloom,
She hangs upon the hillside brake,
Smelling of warmth and of her breast's perfume,
And, lying in the citron-colored gloom
Beside the lilied lake,
She stares the buds awake.

Or, with a smile, through watery deeps
She leads the oaring turtle's legs;
Or guides the crimson fish, that swims and sleeps
From pad to pad, from which the young frog leaps;
And to its nest's green eggs
The bird that pleads and begs.

Then 'mid the fields of unmown hay
She shows the bees where sweets are found;
And points the butterflies, at airy play,
And dragonflies, along the water-way,
Where honeyed flowers abound
For them to flicker 'round.

Or, where ripe apples pelt with gold
Some barn around which, coned with snow,
The wild-potato blooms she mount its old
Mossed roof, and through warped sides, the knots have holed
Lets her long glances glow
Into the loft below.

To show the mud-wasp at its cell
Slenderly busy; swallows, too,
Packing against a beam their nest's clay shell;
And crouching in the dark the owl as well
With all her downy crew
Of owlets gray of hue.

These are her joys, and until dusk
Lounging she walks where reapers reap,
From sultry raiment shaking scents of musk,
Rustling the corn within its silken husk,
And driving down heav'n's deep
White herds of clouds like sheep.

Over the hills, as the pewee flies,
Under the blue of the Southern skies;
Over the hills, where the red-bird wings
Like a scarlet blossom, or sits and sings:

Under the shadow of rock and tree,
Where the warm wind drones with the honey-bee;
And the tall wild-carrots around you sway
Their lace-like flowers of cloudy gray:

By the black-cohosh with its pearly plume
A-nod in the woodland's odorous gloom;
By the old rail-fence, in the elder's shade,
That the myriad hosts of the weeds invade:

Where the butterfly-weed, like a coal of fire,
Blurs orange-red through bush and brier;
Where the pennyroyal and mint smell sweet,
And blackberries tangle the summer heat,

The old road leads; then crosses the creek,
Where the minnow dartles, a silvery streak;
Where the cows wade deep through the blue-eyed grass,
And the flickering dragonflies gleaming pass.

That road is easy, however long,
Which wends with beauty as toil with song;
And the road we follow shall lead us straight
Past creek and wood to a farmhouse gate.

Past hill and hollow, whence scents are blown
Of dew-wet clover that scythes have mown;
To a house that stands with porches wide
And gray low roof on the green hill-side.

Colonial, stately; 'mid shade and shine
Of the locust-tree and the Southern pine;
With its orchard acres and meadowlands
Stretched out before it like welcoming hands.

And gardens, where, in the myrrh-sweet June,
Magnolias blossom with many a moon
Of fragrance; and, in the feldspar light
Of August, roses bloom red and white.

In a woodbine arbor, a perfumed place,
A slim girl sits with a happy face;
Her bonnet by her, a sunbeam lies
On her lovely hair, in her earnest eyes.

Her eyes, as blue as the distant deeps
Of the heavens above where the high hawk sleeps;
A book beside her, wherein she read
Till she saw him coming, she heard his tread.

Come home at last; come back from the war;
In his eyes a smile, on his brow a scar:
To the South come back who wakes from her dream
To the love and peace of a new regime.

The Wind Of Summer

From the hills and far away
All the long, warm summer day
Comes the wind and seems to say:

'Come, oh, come! and let us go
Where the meadows bend and blow,
Waving with the white-tops' snow.

''Neath the hyssop-colored sky
'Mid the meadows we will lie
Watching the white clouds roll by;

'While your hair my hands shall press
With a cooling tenderness
Till your grief grows less and less.

'Come, oh, come! and let us roam
Where the rock-cut waters comb
Flowing crystal into foam.

'' Under trees whose trunks are brown,
On the banks that violets crown,
We will watch the fish flash down;

'While your ear my voice shall soothe
With a whisper soft and smooth
Till your care shall wax uncouth.

'Come! where forests, line on line,
Armies of the oak and pine,
Scale the hills and shout and shine.

'We will wander, hand in hand,
Ways where tall the toadstools stand,
Mile-stones white of Fairyland.

'While your eyes my lips shall kiss,
Dewy as a wild rose is,
Till they gaze on naught but bliss.

'On the meadows you will hear,
Leaning low your spirit ear,
Cautious footsteps drawing near.

'You will deem it but a bee,
Murmuring soft and sleepily,
Till your inner sight shall see.

''Tis a presence passing slow,
All its shining hair ablow,
Through the white-tops' tossing snow.

'By the waters, if you will,
And your inmost soul be still,
Melody your ears shall fill.

'You will deem it but the stream
Rippling onward in a dream,
Till upon your gaze shall gleam.

'Arm of spray and throat of foam
'Tis a spirit there aroam
Where the radiant waters comb.

'In the forest, if you heed,
You shall hear a magic reed
Sow sweet notes like silver seed.

'You will deem your ears have heard
Stir of tree or song of bird,
Till your startled eyes are blurred.

'By a vision, instant seen,
Naked gold and beryl green,
Glimmering bright the boughs between.

'Follow me! and you shall see
Wonder-worlds of mystery
That are only known to me!'

Thus outside my city door
Speaks the Wind its wildwood lore,
Speaks and lo! I go once more.

Hang out your loveliest star, O Night! O Night!
Your richest rose, O Dawn!
To greet sweet Summer, her, who, clothed in light,
Leads Earth's best hours on.
Hark! how the wild birds of the woods
Throat it within the dewy solitudes!
The brook sings low and soft,
The trees make song,
As, from her heaven aloft
Comes blue-eyed Summer like a girl along.


And as the Day, her lover, leads her in
How bright his beauty glows!
How red his lips, that ever try to win
Her mouth's delicious rose!
And from the beating of his heart
Warm winds arise and sighing thence depart;
And from his eyes and hair
The light and dew
Fall round her everywhere,
And Heaven above her is an arch of blue.


Come to the forest, or the treeless meadows
Deep with their hay or grain;
Come where the hills lift high their thrones of shadows,
Where tawny orchards reign.
Come where the reapers whet the scythe;
Where golden sheaves are heaped; where berriers blythe,
With willow-basket and with pail,
Swarm knoll and plain;
Where flowers freckle every vale,
And beauty goes with hands of berry-stain.


Come where the dragon-flies, a brassy blue,
Flit round the wildwood streams,
And, sucking at some horn of honey-dew,
The wild-bee hums and dreams.
Come where the butterfly waves wings of sleep,
Gold-disked and mottled over blossoms deep;
Come where beneath the rustic bridge
The green frog cries;
Or in the shade the rainbowed midge,
Above the emerald pools, with murmurings flies.


Come where the cattle browse within the brake,
As red as oak and strong;
Where far-off bells the echoes faintly wake,
And milkmaids sing their song.
Come where the vine-trailed rocks, with waters hoary,
Tell to the sun some legend or some story;
Or, where the sunset to the land
Speaks words of gold;
Where ripeness walks, a wheaten band
Around her hair and blossoms manifold.


Come where the woods lift up their stalwart arms
Unto the star-sown skies;
Knotted and gnarled, that to the winds and storms
Fling mighty rhapsodies:
Or to the moon repeat what they have seen,
When Night upon their shoulders vast doth lean.
Come where the dew's clear syllable
Drips from the rose;
And where the fire-flies fill
The night with golden music of their glows.


Now while the dingles and the vine-roofed glens
Whisper their flowery tale
Unto the silence; and the lakes and fens
Unto the moonlight pale
Murmur their rapture, let us seek her out,
Her of the honey throat, and peachy pout,
Summer! and at her feet,
The love of old
Lay like a sheaf of wheat,
And of our hearts the purest gold of gold.


It is not early spring and yet
Of bloodroot blooms along the stream,
And blotted banks of violet,
My heart will dream.

Is it because the windflower apes
The beauty that was once her brow,
That the white memory of it shapes
The April now?

Because the wild-rose wears the blush
That once made sweet her maidenhood,
Its thought makes June of barren bush
And empty wood?

And then I think how young she died-
Straight, barren Death stalks down the trees,
The hard-eyed Hours by his side,
That kill and freeze.


When orchards are in bloom again
My heart will bound, my blood will beat,
To hear the redbird so repeat,
On boughs of rosy stain,
His blithe, loud song,-like some far strain
From out the past,-among the bloom,-
(Where bee and wasp and hornet boom)-
Fresh, redolent of rain.

When orchards are in bloom once more,
Invasions of lost dreams will draw
My feet, like some insistent law,
Through blossoms to her door:
In dreams I'll ask her, as before,
To let me help her at the well;
And fill her pail; and long to tell
My love as once of yore.

I shall not speak until we quit
The farm-gate, leading to the lane
And orchard, all in bloom again,
Mid which the bluebirds sit
And sing; and through whose blossoms flit
The catbirds crying while they fly:
Then tenderly I'll speak, and try
To tell her all of it.

And in my dream again she'll place
Her hand in mine, as oft before,-
When orchards are in bloom once more,-
With all her young-girl grace:
And we shall tarry till a trace
Of sunset dyes the heav'ns; and then-
We'll part; and, parting, I again
Shall bend and kiss her face.

And homeward, singing, I shall go
Along the cricket-chirring ways,
While sunset, one long crimson blaze
Of orchards, lingers low:
And my dead youth again I'll know,
And all her love, when spring is here-
Whose memory holds me many a year,
Whose love still haunts me so!


I would not die when Springtime lifts
The white world to her maiden mouth,
And heaps its cradle with gay gifts,
Breeze-blown from out the singing South:
Too full of life and loves that cling;
Too heedless of all mortal woe,
The young, unsympathetic Spring,
That Death should never know.

I would not die when Summer shakes
Her daisied locks below her hips,
And naked as a star that takes
A cloud, into the silence slips:
Too rich is Summer; poor in needs;
In egotism of loveliness
Her pomp goes by, and never heeds
One life the more or less.

But I would die when Autumn goes,
The dark rain dripping from her hair,
Through forests where the wild wind blows
Death and the red wreck everywhere:
Sweet as love's last farewells and tears
To fall asleep when skies are gray,
In the old autumn of my years,
Like a dead leaf borne far away.

Yes, I love the homestead. There
In the spring the lilacs blew
Plenteous perfume everywhere;
There in summer gladioles grew
Parallels of scarlet glare.

And the moon-hued primrose cool
Satin-soft and redolent;
Honeysuckles beautiful,
Filling all the air with scent;
Roses red or white as wool.

Roses, glorious and lush,
Rich in tender-tinted dyes,
Like the gay tempestuous rush
Of unnumbered butterflies,
Clustering o'er each bending bush.

Here japonica and box,
And the wayward violets;
Clumps of star-enamelled phlox,
And the myriad flowery jets
Of the twilight four-o'-clocks.

Ah, the beauty of the place!
When the June made one great rose,
Full of musk and mellow grace,
In the garden's humming close,
Of her comely mother face!

Bubble-like, the hollyhocks
Budded, burst, and flaunted wide
Gypsy beauty from their stocks;
Morning glories, bubble-dyed,
Swung in honey-hearted flocks.

Tawny tiger-lilies flung
Doublets slashed with crimson on;
Graceful slave-girls, fair and young,
Like Circassians, in the sun
Alabaster lilies swung.

Ah, the droning of the bee;
In his dusty pantaloons
Tumbling in the fleurs-de-lis;
In the drowsy afternoons
Dreaming in the pink sweet-pea.

Ah, the moaning wildwood-dove!
With its throat of amethyst
Rippled like a shining cove
Which a wind to pearl hath kissed,
Moaning, moaning of its love.

And the insects' gossip thin
From the summer hotness hid
In lone, leafy deeps of green;
Then at eve the katydid
With its hard, unvaried din.

Often from the whispering hills,
Borne from out the golden dusk,
Gold with gold of daffodils,
Thrilled into the garden's musk
The wild wail of whippoorwills.

From the purple-tangled trees,
Like the white, full heart of night,
Solemn with majestic peace,
Swam the big moon, veined with light;
Like some gorgeous golden-fleece.

She was there with me. And who,
In the magic of the hour,
Had not sworn that they could view,
Beading on each blade and flower
Moony blisters of the dew?

And each fairy of our home,
Firefly, its taper lit
In the honey-scented gloam,
Dashing down the dusk with it
Like an instant-flaming foam.

And we heard the calling, calling,
Of the screech-owl in the brake;
Where the trumpet-vine hung, crawling
Down the ledge, into the lake
Heard the sighing streamlet falling.

Then we wandered to the creek
Where the water-lilies, growing
Thick as stars, lay white and weak;
Or against the brooklet's flowing
Bent and bathed a bashful cheek.

And the moonlight, rippling golden,
Fell in virgin aureoles
On their bosoms, half unfolden,
Where, it seemed, the fairies' souls
Dwelt as perfume, unbeholden;

Or lay sleeping, pearly-tented,
Baby-cribbed within each bud,
While the night-wind, piney-scented,
Swooning over field and flood,
Rocked them on the waters dented.

Then the low, melodious bell
Of a sleeping heifer tinkled,
In some berry-briered dell,
As her satin dewlap wrinkled
With the cud that made it swell.

And, returning home, we heard,
In a beech-tree at the gate,
Some brown, dream-behaunted bird,
Singing of its absent mate,
Of the mate that never heard.

And, you see, now I am gray,
Why within the old, old place,
With such memories, I stay;
Fancy out her absent face
Long since passed away.

She was mine yes! still is mine:
And my frosty memory
Reels about her, as with wine
Warmed into young eyes that see
All of her that was divine.

Yes, I loved her, and have grown
Melancholy in that love,
And the memory alone
Of perfection such whereof
She could sanctify each stone.

And where'er the poppies swing
There we walk, as if a bee
Bent them with its airy wing,
Down her garden shadowy
In the hush the evenings bring.

At The Lane's End

No more to strip the roses from
The rose-boughs of her porch's place!
I dreamed last night that I was home
Beside a rose her face.

I must have smiled in sleep who knows?
The rose aroma filled the lane;
I saw her white hand's lifted rose
That called me home again.

And yet when I awoke so wan,
An old face wet with icy tears!
Somehow, it seems, sleep had misdrawn
A love gone thirty years.


The clouds roll up and the clouds roll down
Over the roofs of the little town;
Out in the hills where the pike winds by
Fields of clover and bottoms of rye,
You will hear no sound but the barking cough
Of the striped chipmunk where the lane leads off;
You will hear no bird but the sapsuckers
Far off in the forest, that seems to purr,
As the warm wind fondles its top, grown hot,
Like the docile back of an ocelot:
You will see no thing but the shine and shade
Of briers that climb and of weeds that wade
The glittering creeks of the light, that fills
The dusty road and the red-keel hills
And all day long in the pennyroy'l
The grasshoppers at their anvils toil;
Thick click of their tireless hammers thrum,
And the wheezy belts of their bellows hum;
Tinkers who solder the silence and heat
To make the loneliness more complete.
Around old rails where the blackberries
Are reddening ripe, and the bumble-bees
Are a drowsy rustle of Summer's skirts,
And the bob-white's wing is the fan she flirts.
Under the hill, through the iron weeds,
And ox-eyed daisies and milkweeds, leads
The path forgotten of all but one.
Where elder bushes are sick with sun,
And wild raspberries branch big blue veins
O'er the face of the rock, where the old spring rains
Its sparkling splinters of molten spar
On the gravel bed where the tadpoles are,
You will find the pales of the fallen fence,
And the tangled orchard and vineyard, dense
With the weedy neglect of thirty years.
The garden there, where the soft sky clears
Like an old sweet face that has dried its tears;
The garden plot where the cabbage grew
And the pompous pumpkin; and beans that blew
Balloons of white by the melon patch;
Maize; and tomatoes that seemed to catch
Oblong amber and agate balls
Thrown from the sun in the frosty falls:
Long rows of currants and gooseberries,
And the balsam-gourd with its honey-bees.
And here was a nook for the princess-plumes,
The snap-dragons and the poppy-blooms,
Mother's sweet-williams and pansy flowers,
And the morning-glories' bewildered bowers,
Tipping their cornucopias up
For the humming-birds that came to sup.
And over it all was the Sabbath peace
Of the land whose lap was the love of these;
And the old log-house where my innocence died,
With my boyhood buried side by side.
Shall a man with a face as withered and gray
As the wasp-nest stowed in a loft away,
Where the hornets haunt and the mortar drops
From the loosened logs of the clap-board tops;
Whom vice has aged as the rotting rooms
The rain where memories haunt the glooms;
A hitch in his joints like the rheum that gnats
In the rasping hinge of the door that jars;
A harsh, cracked throat like the old stone flue
Where the swallows build the summer through;
Shall a man, I say, with the spider sins
That the long years spin in the outs and ins
Of his soul returning to see once more
His boyhood's home, where his life was poor
With toil and tears and their fretfulness,
But rich with health and the hopes that bless
The unsoiled wealth of a vigorous youth;
Shall he not take comfort and know the truth
In its threadbare raiment of falsehood? Yea!
In his crumbled past he shall kneel and pray,
Like a pilgrim come to the shrine again
Of the homely saints that shall soothe his pain,
And arise and depart made clean from stain!


Years of care can not erase
Visions of the hills and trees
Closing in the dam and race;
Not the mile-long memories
Of the mill-stream's lovely place.

How the sunsets used to stain
Mirror of the water lying

Under eaves made dark with rain!
Where the red-bird, westward flying,
Lit to try one song again.

Dingles, hills, and woods, and springs,
Where we came in calm and storm,
Swinging in the grape-vine swings,
Wading where the rocks were warm,
With our fishing-nets and strings.

Here the road plunged down the hill,
Under ash and chinquapin,
Where the grasshoppers would drill
Ears of silence with their din,
To the willow-girdled mill.

There the path beyond the ford
Takes the woodside, just below
Shallows that the lilies sword,
Where the scarlet blossoms blow
Of the trumpet-vine and gourd.

Summer winds, that sink with heat,
On the pelted waters winnow
Moony petals that repeat
Crescents, where the startled minnow
Beats a glittering retreat.

Summer winds that bear the scent
Of the iron-weed and mint,
Weary with sweet freight and spent,
On the deeper pools imprint
Stumbling steps in many a dent.

Summer winds, that split the husk
Of the peach and nectarine,
Trail along the amber dusk
Hazy skirts of gray and green,
Spilling balms of dew and musk.

Where with balls of bursting juice
Summer sees the red wild-plum
Strew the gravel; ripened loose,
Autumn hears the pawpaw drum
Plumpness on the rocks that bruise:

There we found the water-beech,
One forgotten August noon,
With a hornet-nest in reach,
Like a fairyland balloon,
Full of bustling fairy speech.

Some invasion sure it was;
For we heard the captains scold;
Waspish cavalry a-buzz,
Troopers uniformed in gold,
Sable-slashed, to charge on us.

Could I find the sedgy angle,
Where the dragon-flies would turn
Slender flittings into spangle
On the sunlight? or would burn
Where the berries made a tangle

Sparkling green and brassy blue;
Rendezvousing, by the stream,
Bands of elf-banditti, who,
Brigands of the bloom and beam,
Drunken were with honey-dew.

Could I find the pond that lay
Where vermilion blossoms showered
Fragrance down the daisied way?
That the sassafras embowered
With the spice of early May?

Could I find it did I seek
The old mill? Its weather-beaten
Wheel and gable by the creek?
With its warping roof; worm-eaten,
Dusty rafters worn and weak.

Where old shadows haunt old places,
Loft and hopper, stair and bin;
Ghostly with the dust that laces
Webs that usher phantoms in,
Wistful with remembered faces.

While the frogs' grave litanies
Drowse in far-off antiphone,
Supplicating, till the eyes
Of dead friendships, long alone
In the dusky corners, rise.

Moonrays or the splintered slip
Of a star? within the darkling
Twilight, where the fire-flies dip
As if Night a myriad sparkling
Jewels from her hands let slip:

While again some farm-boy crosses,
With a corn-sack for the meal,
O'er the creek, through ferns and mosses
Sprinkled by the old mill-wheel,
Where the water drips and tosses.