Happiness

A poem by Madison Julius Cawein

There is a voice that calls to me; a voice that cries deep down;
That calls within my heart of hearts when Summer doffs her crown:
When Summer doffs her crown, my dear, and by the hills and streams
The spirit of September walks through gold and purple gleams:
It calls my heart beyond the mart, beyond the street and town,
To take again, in sun or rain, the oldtime trail of dreams.

Oh, it is long ago, my dear, a weary time since we
Trod back the way we used to know by wildwood rock and tree:
By mossy rock and tree, dear Heart, and sat below the hill,
And watched the wheel, the old mill-wheel, turn round on Babbit's mill:
Or in the brook, with line and hook, to dronings of the bee,
Waded or swam, above the dam, and drank of joy our fill

The ironweed is purple now; the blackeyed-Susans nod;
And by its banks, weighed down with wet, blooms bright the goldenrod:
Blooms bright the goldenrod, my dear, and in the mist of morn
The gray hawk soars and screams and soars above the dripping corn:
And by the pool, cerulean cool, the milkweed bursts its pod,
As through the air the wild fanfare rings of the hunter's horn.

The hunter's horn we heard, my dear, that echoed 'mid the rocks,
And cheered the hounds whose belling bay trailed far behind the fox:
Trailed far behind the fox, dear Heart, whose den we oft had seen,
A cave-like place within the woods wild-hid in trailing green:
Old Owlet's Roost, wherein we used to search, with tangled locks,
For buried gold, where, we were told, the bandit's lair had been.

O gladness of the long-gone years! O boyhood's days and dreams!
Again my soul would trace with you the oldtime Woods and streams:
The oldtime woods and streams, dear Heart, and seek again, I guess,
The buried gold, we sought of old, and find it none the less
Still in the ground, fast sealed and bound, among the glooms and gleams,
As long ago we left it so, the gold of Happiness.

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