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The Path

by
 RUNNING along a bank, a parapet 
That saves from the precipitous wood below 
The level road, there is a path.
It serves Children for looking down the long smooth steep, Between the legs of beech and yew, to where A fallen tree checks the sight: while men and women Content themselves with the road and what they see Over the bank, and what the children tell.
The path, winding like silver, trickles on, Bordered and even invaded by thinnest moss That tries to cover roots and crumbling chalk With gold, olive, and emerald, but in vain.
The children wear it.
They have flattened the bank On top, and silvered it between the moss With the current of their feet, year after year.
But the road is houseless, and leads not to school.
To see a child is rare there, and the eye Has but the road, the wood that overhangs And underyawns it, and the path that looks As if it led on to some legendary Or fancied place where men have wished to go And stay; till, sudden, it ends where the wood ends.

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