Dusk in the Woods
Three miles of trees it is: and I Came through the woods that waited, dumb, For the cool summer dusk to come; And lingered there to watch the sky Up which the gradual splendor clomb. A tree-toad quavered in a tree; And then a sudden whippoorwill Called overhead, so wildly shrill The sleeping wood, it seemed to me, Cried out and then again was still. Then through dark boughs its stealthy flight An owl took; and, at drowsy strife, The cricket tuned its faery fife; And like a ghost-flower, silent white, The wood-moth glimmered into life. And in the dead wood everywhere The insects ticked, or bored below The rotted bark; and, glow on glow, The lambent fireflies here and there Lit up their jack-o'-lantern show. I heard a vesper-sparrow sing, Withdrawn, it seemed, into the far Slow sunset's tranquil cinnabar; The crimson, softly smoldering Behind the trees, with its one star. A dog barked: and down ways that gleamed, Through dew and clover, faint the noise Of cowbells moved. And then a voice, That sang a-milking, so it seemed, Made glad my heart as some glad boy's. And then the lane: and, full in view, A farmhouse with its rose-grown gate, And honeysuckle paths, await For night, the moon, and love and you - These are the things that made me late.
Madison Julius Cawein’s other poems:
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