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Roads

by
 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.

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