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WOODCRAFT.

He makes his way with speed and ease Through woods that show the noonday star; The moss-grown trunks of oldest trees

His lettered guide-boards are.

The tameless bee he follows home;
He marks in air the path it beats,
The hollow oak that holds the comb,

With all its trickling sweets.

The gnarly vine no vintner binds,
To him swings down its purple hoard;
The shade-embosomed spring he finds,

His drinking-cup a gourd.

Lacks he a roof? - the withe he bends,
The bough he pleaches overhead;
A couch? the fallen leafage lends

A soft and fragrant bed.

Lacks he a fire? - the kindling spark
He bids the chafèd wood reveal ;
Lacks he a boat? of birchen bark
He frames a lightsome keel.

WOODCRAFT.

51

may not

And that he

savage

be, He carves a flute whose yearning tones, Upon a summer eve set free,

Wake love in clods and stones.

A FLUTE.

“ How shall I liken thee, reed of my

choice, Spirit-like, fugitive, wavering voice?"

“I am an oread lost to the hills,

Sick for the mountain wind tossing my rills;
Sighing from memory snatches of song
Pine-trees have sung to me all the night long;
Shrouded they sang to me, mingling my dreams;
Down through their tapestries planets shot gleams.
Eagles on cliffs between heaven and me
Looked from their watch-towers, far on the sea.

“ How wast thou taken, sweet, lost to the hills,

Footprints of thine no more seen by the rills ? "

“Quickly I answer thee: Sorrow came by, Made me her foster-child, loving my cry!”

THE WILD SOWER.

Up and down the land I go,

Through the valley, over hill; Many a pleasant ground I sow,

Never one I reap or till ; Fan and flail I never wield, Leave no hayrick in the field.

Farmer

goes

with leathern scrip, Fills the harrowed earth with seed; In the selfsame score I slip

Germs of many a lusty weed.
Though I scatter in his track,
I

possess nor bin nor sack.

He sows wheat, and I sow tare,

Rain and sunshine second toil; Tame and wild these acres share,

Wrestling for the right of soil. I stand by and clap my hands, Cheering on my urchin bands.

Mine the cockle in rye,
Throned thistle, large and fine,

54

THE WILD SOWER.

And the daisy's white-fringed eye,

And the dodder's endless twine ; Mine those fingers five that bind Every blade and stalk they find.

Mine the lilies, hot and bright,

Setting summer meads on fire;
Mine the silk weed's spindles white,

Spinning Autumn's soft attire.
Golden-rod and aster then
I bring up by bank and glen.

Whoso fleeth to the woods,

Whoso buildeth on the plains,
I, too, seek those solitudes,

Leading on my hardy trains :
Thorn and brier, still man's lot,
Crowd around the frontier cot.

Many serve me, unaware,

Shaggy herds that ceaseless roam,
And the rovers of the air

Passing to their winter home;
More than these upon me wait,
Wind and water bear my freight.

Thus, a sower wild, I go,

Trafficking with every clime ;
Still the fruitful germs I sow
That shall vex your

harvest-time; Otherwise, ye toil-stooped men, Eden's ease were come again !

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