A poem by Madison Julius Cawein


Clad on with glowing beauty and the peace,
Benign, of calm maturity, she stands
Among her meadows and her orchard-lands,
And on her mellowing gardens and her trees,
Out of the ripe abundance of her hands
Bestows increase
And fruitfulness, as, wrapped in sunny ease,
Blue-eyed and blonde she goes
Upon her bosom Summer's richest rose.


And he who follows where her footsteps lead,
By hill and rock, by forest-side and stream,
Shall glimpse the glory of her visible dream,
In flower and fruit, in rounded nut and seed:
She, in whose path the very shadows gleam;
Whose humblest weed
Seems lovelier than June's loveliest flower, indeed,
And sweeter to the smell
Than April's self within a rainy dell.


Hers is a sumptuous simplicity
Within the fair Republic of her flowers,
Where you may see her standing hours on hours,
Breast-deep in gold, soft-holding up a bee
To her hushed ear; or sitting under bowers
Of greenery,
A butterfly a-tilt upon her knee;
Or lounging on her hip,
Dancing a cricket on her finger-tip.


Ay, let me breathe hot scents that tell of you;
The hoary catnip and the meadow-mint,
On which the honour of your touch doth print
Itself as odour. Let me drink the hue
Of iron-weed and mist-flow'r here that hint,
With purple and blue,
The rapture that your presence doth imbue
Their inmost essence with,
Immortal though as transient as a myth.


Yea, let me feed on sounds that still assure
Me where you hide: the brooks', whose happy din
Tells where, the deep retired woods within,
Disrobed, you bathe; the birds', whose drowsy lure
Tells where you slumber, your warm nestling chin
Soft on the pure,
Pink cushion of your palm.. . What better cure
For care and memory's ache
Than to behold you so, and watch you wake!

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