Madison Julius Cawein

1865-1914

 

Unfulfilled

by Madison Julius Cawein

In my dream last night it seemed I stood
With a boy's glad heart in my boyhood's wood.

The beryl green and the cairngorm brown
Of the day through the deep leaves sifted down.

The rippling drip of a passing shower
Rinsed wild aroma from herb and flower.

The splash and urge of a waterfall
Spread stairwayed rocks with a crystal caul.

And I waded the pool where the gravel gray,
And the last year's leaf, like a topaz lay.

And searched the strip of the creek's dry bed
For the colored keel and the arrow-head.

And I found the cohosh coigne the same,
Tossing with torches of pearly flame.

The owlet dingle of vine and brier,
That the butterfly-weed flecked fierce with fire.

The elder edge with its warm perfume,
And the sapphire stars of the bluet bloom;

The moss, the fern, and the touch-me-not
I breathed, and the mint-smell keen and hot.

And I saw the bird, that sang its best,
In the moted sunlight building its nest.

And I saw the chipmunk's stealthy face,
And the rabbit crouched in a grassy place.

And I watched the crows, that cawed and cried,
Hunting the hawk at the forest-side;

The bees that sucked in the blossoms slim,
And the wasps that built on the lichened limb.

And felt the silence, the dusk, the dread
Of the spot where they buried the unknown dead.

The water murmur, the insect hum,
And a far bird calling, Come, oh, come! --

What sweeter music can mortals make
To ease the heart of its human ache! --

And it seemed in my dream, that was all too true,
That I met in the woods again with you.

A sun-tanned face and brown bare knees,
And a hand stained red with dewberries.

And we stood a moment some thing to tell,
And then in the woods we said farewell.

But once I met you; yet, lo! it seems
Again and again we meet in dreams.

And I ask my soul what it all may mean;
If this is the love that should have been.

And oft and again I wonder, Can
What God intends be changed by man?

Source:

The Garden Of Dreams
Copyright 1896
John P. Morton & Company, Louisville
 
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