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Poem by Amy Lowell


Roads


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. 



Amy Lowell


Amy Lowell's other poems:
  1. The Bungler
  2. The Painter on Silk
  3. The Fool Errant
  4. The Boston Athenaeum
  5. Frankincense and Myrrh


Poems of the other poets with the same name:

  • Edward Thomas Roads ("I LOVE roads")

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