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.
 
1601. Silkweed
 
By Philip Henry Savage
 
 
LIGHTER than dandelion down,
  Or feathers from the white moth’s wing,
Out of the gates of bramble-town
  The silkweed goes a-gypsying.
 
Too fair to fly in autumn’s rout,        5
  All winter in the sheath it lay;
But now, when spring is pushing out,
  The zephyr calls, “Away! away!”
 
Through mullein, bramble, brake, and fern,
  Up from their cradle-spring they fly,        10
Beyond the boundary wall to turn
  And voyage through the friendly sky.
 
Softly, as if instinct with thought,
  They float and drift, delay and turn;
And one avoids and one is caught        15
  Between an oak-leaf and a fern.
 
And one holds by an airy line
  The spider drew from tree to tree;
And if the web is light and fine,
  ’T is not so light and fine as he!        20
 
And one goes questing up the wall
  As if to find a door; and then,
As if he did not care at all,
  Goes over, and adown the glen.
 
And all in airiest fashion fare        25
  Adventuring, as if, indeed,
’T were not so grave a thing to bear
  The burden of a seed!
 

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