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Poem by Madison Julius Cawein


It was beneath a waning moon when all the woods were sear,
And winds made eddies of the leaves that whispered far and near,
I met her on the old mill-bridge we parted at last year.

At first I deemed it but a mist that faltered in that place,
An autumn mist beneath the trees that sentineled the race;
Until I neared and in the moon beheld her face to face.

The waver of the summer-heat upon the drouth-dry leas;
The shimmer of the thistle-drift a down the silences;
The gliding of the fairy-fire between the swamp and trees;

They qualified her presence as a sorrow may a dream
The vague suggestion of a self; the glimmer of a gleam;
The actual unreal of the things that only seem.

Where once she came with welcome and glad eyes all loving-wise,
She passed and gave no greeting that my heart might recognize,
With far-set face unseeing and sad unremembering eyes.

It was beneath a waning moon when woods were bleak and sear,
And winds made whispers of the leaves that eddied far and near,
I met her ghost upon the bridge we parted at last year.

Madison Julius Cawein

Madison Julius Cawein's other poems:
  1. The Picture
  2. The Ribbon
  3. Wood Notes
  4. The Wood God
  5. Processional

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