The Forest Spring

A poem by Madison Julius Cawein

Push back the brambles, berry-blue:
The hollowed spring is full in view:
Deep-tangled with luxuriant fern
Its rock-embedded, crystal urn.
Not for the loneliness that keeps
The coigne wherein its silence sleeps;
Not for wild butterflies that sway
Their pansy pinions all the day
Above its mirror; nor the bee,
Nor dragon-fly, that passing see
Themselves reflected in its spar;
Not for the one white liquid star,
That twinkles in its firmament;
Nor moon-shot clouds, so slowly sent
Athwart it when the kindly night
Beads all its grasses with the light
Small jewels of the dimpled dew;
Not for the day's inverted blue
Nor the quaint, dimly coloured stones
That dance within it where it moans:
Not for all these I love to sit
In silence and to gaze in it.
But, know, a nymph with merry eyes
Looks at me from its laughing skies;
A graceful glimmering nymph who plays
All the long fragrant summer days
With instant sights of bees and birds,
And speaks with them in water words,
And for whose nakedness the air
Weaves moony mists, and on whose hair,
Unfilleted, the night will set
That lone star as a coronet.

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