Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


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.

Credit


This poem is in the public domain. 

About this Poem


From A Dome of Many-Coloured Glass (Houghton Mifflin Company, 1912).

Author


Amy Lowell

Born in 1874, Amy Lowell was deeply interested in and influenced by the Imagist movement and she received the Pulitzer Prize for her collection What's O'Clock.

Date Published: 2018-07-05

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/roads