In The Beech Woods

A poem by Madison Julius Cawein

Amber and emerald, cairngorm and chrysoprase,
Stream through the autumn woods, scatter the beech-wood ways:
Ways where the wahoo-bush brightens with scarlet;
And where the aster-stalk lifts its last starlet.

Ways where the brier burns; poplars drop, one by one,
Leaves that seem beaten gold, each like a splash of sun:
'Round which the beeches rise, tree upon golden tree,
That, with each wind that blows, sound like a summer sea.

Ways where the papaw leans, great-leaved and beryl-green,
Like some grand forester one in Romance hath seen;
And like some Indian queen, sung of in story,
Flaming the gum-tree stands, crowned with its glory.

Ways where the bittersweet, cleaving its pods of gold,
Brightens the brake with flame, torches the dingle old:
And where the dogwood too crimsons with ruby seeds;
Spicewood and buckbush bend ruddy with rosy beads.

These are the woods of gold; forests our childhood knew,
Where the Enchanted dwelt, she with the eyes of blue;
She of the raven locks, and of the lovely looks,
She who oft gazed at us out of the Story Books.

And with that Prince again, striding his snowwhite steed,
To her deliverance through the gold wood we speed;
On through the wood of flame to the Dark Tower,
Where like a light she gleams high in her bower.

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