Hilda Of The Hillside

A poem by Madison Julius Cawein


Who is she, like the spring, who comes down
From the hills to the smoke-huddled town?
With her peach-petal face
And her wildflower grace,
Bringing sunshine and gladness to each sorry place?
Her cheeks are twin buds o' the brier,
Mixed fervors of snow and of fire;
Her lips are the red
Of a rose that is wed
To dew and aroma when dawn is o'erhead:
Her eyes are twin bits o' the skies,
Blue glimpses of Paradise;
The strands of her hair
Are sunlight and air
Herself is the argument that she is fair,
This girl with the dawn in her eyes.


If Herrick had looked on her face
His lyrics had learned a new grace:
Her face is a book
Where each laugh and each look,
Each smile is a lyric, more sweet than a brook:
Her words they are birds that are heard
Singing low where the roses are stirred,
The buds of her lips,
Whence each of them slips
With music as soft as the fragrance that drips
From a dew-dreaming bloom;
With their sound and perfume
Making all my glad heart a love-haunted room.


But she she knows nothing of love!
She she with the soul of a dove,
Who dwells on the hills,
Knowing naught of the ills
Of the vales, of the hearts that with passion she fills:
For whom all my soul
Is a harp from which roll
The songs that she hears not, the voice of my love,
This girl who goes singing above.

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