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Poem by Madison Julius Cawein


Going for the Cows


 I.

The juice-big apples' sullen gold,
Like lazy Sultans laughed and lolled
'Mid heavy mats of leaves that lay
Green-flatten'd 'gainst the glaring day;
And here a pear of rusty brown,
And peaches on whose brows the down
Waxed furry as the ears of Pan,
And, like Diana's cheeks, whose tan
Burnt tender secresies of fire,
Or wan as Psyche's with desire
Of lips that love to kiss or taste
Voluptuous ripeness there sweet placed.
And down the orchard vistas he, -
Barefooted, trousers out at knee,
Face shadowing from the sloping sun
 A hat of straw, brim-sagging broad, -
Came, lowly whistling some vague tune,
 Upon the sunbeam-sprinkled road.
Lank in his hand a twig with which
 In boyish thoughtlessness he crushed
Rare pennyroyal myriads rich
 In pungent souls that warmly gushed.
Before him whirled in rattling fear
The saffron-bellied grasshopper;
And ringing from the musky dells
Came faint the cows' melodious bells,
Where whimp'ring like a fretful hound
The fountain bubbled up in sound.


 II.

Yellow as sunset skies and pale
As fairy clouds that stay or sail
Thro' azure vaults of summer, blue
As summer heavens the violets grew;
And mosses on which spurts of light
Fell laughing, like the lips one might
Feign for a Hebe or a girl
Whose mouth heat-lightens up with pearl;
Limp ferns in murmuring shadows shrunk
And silent as if stunned or drunk
With moist aromas of the wood;
Dry rustlings of the quietude;
On silver fronds' thin tresses new
Cold limpid blisters of the dew.
Across the rambling fence she leaned:
 A gingham gown to ankles bare;
Her artless beauty, bonnet-screened,
 Tempestuous with its stormy hair.
A rain-crow gurgled in a vine, -
 She heard it not - a step she hears;
The wild rose smelt like delicate wine, -
 She knew it not - 'tis he that nears.
With smiles of greeting all her face
Grew musical; with rustic grace
He leant beside her, and they had
Some parley, with light laughter glad;
I know not what; I know but this,
Its final period was a kiss.



Madison Julius Cawein


Madison Julius Cawein's other poems:
  1. The Wood God
  2. Poe
  3. Dogtown
  4. Love's Calendar
  5. Fall


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