Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
 
1173. Sassafras
 
By Samuel Minturn Peck
 
 
FRINGING cypress forests dim
  Where the owl makes weird abode,
Bending down with spicy limb
  O’er the old plantation road,
Through the swamp and up the hill,        5
  Where the dappled byways run,
Round the gin-house, by the mill,
  Floats its incense to the sun.
 
Swift to catch the voice of spring,
  Soon its tasselled blooms appear;        10
Modest is their blossoming,
  Breathing balm and waving cheer;
Rare the greeting that they send
  To the fragrant wildwood blooms,
Bidding every blossom blend        15
  In a chorus of perfumes.
 
On it leans the blackberry vine,
  With white sprays caressingly;
Round its knees the wild peas twine,
  Beckoning to the yellow bee;        20
Through its boughs the red-bird flits
  Like a living flake of fire,
And with love-enlightened wits
  Weaves his nest and tunes his lyre.
 
Oh, where skies are summer-kissed,        25
  And the drowsy days are long,
’Neath the sassafras to list
  To the field-hand’s mellow song!
Or, more sweet than chimes that hang
  In some old cathedral dome,        30
Catch the distant klingle-klang
  Of the cow-bells tinkling home!
 

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