A poem by Madison Julius Cawein


A mile of moonlight and the whispering wood:
A mile of shadow and the odorous lane:
One large, white star above the solitude,
Like one sweet wish: and, laughter after pain,
Wild-roses wistful in a web of rain.


No star, no rose, to lesson him and lead;
No woodsman compass of the skies and rocks, -
Tattooed of stars and lichens, - doth love need
To guide him where, among the hollyhocks,
A blur of moonlight, gleam his sweetheart's locks.


We name it beauty - that permitted part,
The love-elected apotheosis
Of Nature, which the god within the heart,
Just touching, makes immortal, but by this -
A star, a rose, the memory of a kiss.

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