The Forest Of Old Enchantment

A poem by Madison Julius Cawein

Squaw-Berry, bramble, Solomon's-seal,
And rattlesnake-weed make wild the place:
You seem to feel that a Faun will steal
Or leap before your face. . . .
Is that the reel of a Satyr's heel,
Or the brook in its headlong race?
Yellow puccoon and the blue-eyed grass,
And briars a riot of bloom:
And now from the mass of that sassafras
What is it shakes perfume?
A Nymph, who has for her looking-glass
That pool in the mossy gloom?
Mile on mile of the trees and vines,
And rock and fern and root:
What is it pines where the wild-grape twines?
A dove? or Pan's own flute?
And there! what shines into rosy lines?
A flower? or Dryad's foot?
White-plantain, bluet, and, golden-clear,
The crowfoot's earth-bound star:
Now what draws near to the spirit ear?
A god? or a sunbeam-bar?
And what do we hear with a sense of fear?
Diana? or winds afar?
If we but thought as the old Greeks thought,
And knew what the ancients knew,
Then Beauty sought of the soul were caught
And breathed into being too:
And' out of naught were the real wrought,
And the dream of the world made true.

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