Roads

by Amy Lowell

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.