Verse > Anthologies > Jessie B. Rittenhouse, ed. > The Little Book of Modern Verse
  PREVIOUS NEXT  
CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
Jessie B. Rittenhouse, ed. (1869–1948).  The Little Book of Modern Verse.  1917.
 
73. The Path to the Woods
 
By Madison Cawein
 
 
ITS friendship and its carelessness
Did lead me many a mile,
Through goat’s-rue, with its dim caress,
And pink and pearl-white smile;
Through crowfoot, with its golden lure,        5
And promise of far things,
And sorrel with its glance demure
And wide-eyed wonderings.
 
It led me with its innocence,
As childhood leads the wise,        10
With elbows here of tattered fence,
And blue of wildflower eyes;
With whispers low of leafy speech,
And brook-sweet utterance;
With bird-like words of oak and beech,        15
And whisperings clear as Pan’s.
 
It led me with its childlike charm,
As candor leads desire,
Now with a clasp of blossomy arm,
A butterfly kiss of fire;        20
Now with a toss of tousled gold,
A barefoot sound of green,
A breath of musk, of mossy mold,
With vague allurements keen.
 
It led me with remembered things        25
Into an old-time vale,
Peopled with faëry glimmerings,
And flower-like fancies pale;
Where fungous forms stood, gold and gray,
Each in its mushroom gown,        30
And, roofed with red, glimpsed far away,
A little toadstool town.
 
It led me with an idle ease,
A vagabond look and air,
A sense of ragged arms and knees        35
In weeds grown everywhere;
It led me, as a gypsy leads,
To dingles no one knows,
With beauty burred with thorny seeds,
And tangled wild with rose.        40
 
It led me as simplicity
Leads age and its demands,
With bee-beat of its ecstasy,
And berry-stained touch of hands;
With round revealments, puff-ball white,        45
Through rents of weedy brown,
And petaled movements of delight
In roseleaf limb and gown.
 
It led me on and on and on,
Beyond the Far Away,        50
Into a world long dead and gone,—
The world of Yesterday:
A faëry world of memory,
Old with its hills and streams,
Wherein the child I used to be        55
Still wanders with his dreams.
 

CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
  PREVIOUS NEXT  
 
Loading
Click here to shop the Bartleby Bookstore.

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2014 Bartleby.com · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors