Ah, could I lay me down in this long grass And close my eyes, and let the quiet wind Blow over me—I am so tired, so tired Of passing pleasant places! All my life, Following Care along the dusty road, Have I looked back at loveliness and sighed; Yet at my hand an unrelenting hand Tugged ever, and I passed. All my life long Over my shoulder have I looked at peace; And now I fain would lie in this long grass And close my eyes. Yet onward! Cat birds call Through the long afternoon, and creeks at dusk Are guttural. Whip-poor-wills wake and cry, Drawing the twilight close about their throats. Only my heart makes answer. Eager vines Go up the rocks and wait; flushed apple-trees Pause in their dance and break the ring for me; Dim, shady wood-roads, redolent of fern And bayberry, that through sweet bevies thread Of round-faced roses, pink and petulant, Look back and beckon ere they disappear. Only my heart, only my heart responds. Yet, ah, my path is sweet on either side All through the dragging day,—sharp underfoot And hot, and like dead mist the dry dust hangs— But far, oh, far as passionate eye can reach, And long, ah, long as rapturous eye can cling, The world is mine: blue hill, still silver lake, Broad field, bright flower, and the long white road A gateless garden, and an open path: My feet to follow, and my heart to hold.
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