The Idyll Of The Standing Stone

A poem by Madison Julius Cawein

The teasel and the horsemint spread
The hillside as with sunset, sown
With blossoms, o'er the Standing-Stone
That ripples in its rocky bed:
There are no treasuries that hold
Gold richer than the marigold
That crowns its sparkling head.

'Tis harvest time: a mower stands
Among the morning wheat and whets
His scythe, and for a space forgets
The labor of the ripening lands;
Then bends, and through the dewy grain
His long scythe hisses, and again
He swings it in his hands.

And she beholds him where he mows
On acres whence the water sends
Faint music of reflecting bends
And falls that interblend with flows:
She stands among the old bee-gums, -
Where all the apiary hums, -
A simple bramble-rose.

She hears him whistling as he leans,
And, reaping, sweeps the ripe wheat by;
She sighs and smiles, and knows not why,
Nor what her heart's disturbance means:
He whets his scythe, and, resting, sees
Her rose-like 'mid the hives of bees,
Beneath the flowering beans.

The peacock-purple lizard creeps
Along the rail; and deep the drone
Of insects makes the country lone
With summer where the water sleeps:
She hears him singing as he swings
His scythe - who thinks of other things
Than toil, and, singing, reaps.

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