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The Joy of the Hills

Edwin Markham

I ride on the mountain tops, I ride;
I have found my life and am satisfied.
Onward I ride in the blowing oats,
Checking the field-lark's rippling notes —
      Lightly I sweep
      From steep to steep:
Over my head through the branches high
Come glimpses of a rushing sky;
The tall oats brush my horse's flanks;
Wild poppies crowd on the sunny banks;
A bee booms out of the scented grass;
A jay laughs with me as I pass.
I ride on the hills, I forgive, I forget
      Life's hoard of regret —
      All the terror and pain
      Of the chafing chain.
      Grind on, O cities, grind:
      I leave you a blur behind.
I am lifted elate — the skies expand:
Here the world's heaped gold is a pile of sand.
Let them weary and work in their narrow walls:
I ride with the voices of waterfalls!
I swing on as one in a dream — I swing
Down the airy hollows, I shout, I sing!
The world is gone like an empty word:
My body's a bough in the wind, my heart a bird!

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