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.
 
749. Madroño
 
By Francis Bret Harte
 
 
CAPTAIN of the Western wood,
Thou that apest Robin Hood!
Green above thy scarlet hose,
How thy velvet mantle shows!
Never tree like thee arrayed,        5
O thou gallant of the glade!
 
When the fervid August sun
Scorches all it looks upon,
And the balsam of the pine
Drips from stem to needle fine,        10
Round thy compact shade arranged,
Not a leaf of thee is changed!
 
When the yellow autumn sun
Saddens all it looks upon,
Spreads its sackcloth on the hills,        15
Strews its ashes in the rills,
Thou thy scarlet hose dost doff,
And in limbs of purest buff
Challengest the sombre glade
For a sylvan masquerade.        20
 
Where, oh, where, shall he begin
Who would paint thee, Harlequin?
With thy waxen burnished leaf,
With thy branches’ red relief,
With thy polytinted fruit,—        25
In thy spring or autumn suit,—
Where begin, and, oh, where end,
Thou whose charms all art transcend!
 

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