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Roads

by Amy Lowell
I know a country laced with roads,
 They join the hills and they span the brooks,
They weave like a shuttle between broad fields,
 And slide discreetly through hidden nooks.
They are canopied like a Persian dome
 And carpeted with orient dyes.
They are myriad-voiced, and musical,
 And scented with happiest memories.
O Winding roads that I know so well,
 Every twist and turn, every hollow and hill!
They are set in my heart to a pulsing tune
 Gay as a honey-bee humming in June.
'T is the rhythmic beat of a horse's feet
 And the pattering paws of a sheep-dog bitch;
'T is the creaking trees, and the singing breeze,
 And the rustle of leaves in the road-side ditch.
A cow in a meadow shakes her bell
 And the notes cut sharp through the autumn air,
Each chattering brook bears a fleet of leaves
 Their cargo the rainbow, and just now where
 The sun splashed bright on the road ahead
A startled rabbit quivered and fled.
 O Uphill roads and roads that dip down!
You curl your sun-spattered length along,
 And your march is beaten into a song
By the softly ringing hoofs of a horse
 And the panting breath of the dogs I love.
The pageant of Autumn follows its course
 And the blue sky of Autumn laughs above.
And the song and the country become as one,
 I see it as music, I hear it as light;
Prismatic and shimmering, trembling to tone,
 The land of desire, my soul's delight.
And always it beats in my listening ears
 With the gentle thud of a horse's stride,
With the swift-falling steps of many dogs,
 Following, following at my side.
O Roads that journey to fairyland!
 Radiant highways whose vistas gleam,
Leading me on, under crimson leaves,
 To the opaline gates of the Castles of Dream.

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