The Old Lane

A poem by Madison Julius Cawein

An old, lost lane; where can it lead?
To stony pastures, where the weed
Purples its plume, or sails its seed:
And from one knoll, the vetch makes green,
Trailing its glimmering ribbon on,
Under deep boughs, a creek is seen,
Flecked with the silver of the dawn.

An old, green lane; where can it go?
Into the valley-land below,
Where red the wilding lilies blow:
Where, under willows, shadowy grey,
The blue-crane wades, the heron glides;
And in each pool the minnows sway,
Twinkling their slim and silvery sides.

An old, railed lane; where does it end?
Beyond the log-bridge at the bend,
Towards which our young feet used to wend:
Where, 'neath a dappled sycamore,
The old mill thrashed its foaming wheel,
And, smiling, at its corn-strewn door
The miller leant all white with meal.

An old, wild lane; I know it well:
The creek, the bridge across the dell:
The old house on the orchard-swell:
The pine-board porch above the creek,
Where oft we used to sit and dream,
Two children, fair of hair and cheek,
Dropping our flowers in the stream.

An old, old lane; I follow it
In fancy; and, where branches knit,
Behold a boy and girl who sit
Beside the mill-dam near the mill;
Or in a flat-boat, old and worn,
Oar lilyward. I see them still
Her dress is rent, his trousers torn.

An old, lost lane. Come, let us find,
As here I have it in my mind,
As boyhood left it far behind!
Yes; let us follow it again,
And meet her, wild of foot and hair,
The tomboy, sweet as sun and rain,
Whom once we worshipped to despair.

Reader Comments

Tell us what you think of 'The Old Lane' by Madison Julius Cawein

comments powered by Disqus

Home | Search | About this website | Contact | Privacy Policy