Madison Julius Cawein

(1865-1914 / the United States)

The Name On The Tree


I saw a name carved on a tree —
'Julia';
A simpler name there could not be—
Julia:
But seeing it I seemed to see
A Devon garden,— pleasantly
About a parsonage, — the bee
Made drowsy-sweet; where rosemary
And pink and phlox and peony
Bowed down to one
Whom Herrick made to bloom in Poetry.
A moment there I saw her stand,—
Julia;
A gillyflower in her hand,—
Julia:
And then, kind-faced and big and bland,
As raised by some magician's wand,
Herrick himself passed by, sun-tanned,
And smiling; and the quiet land
Seemed to take on and understand
A dream long dreamed,
And for the lives of two some gladness planned.
And then I seemed to hear a sigh,—
'Julia!'
And someone softly walking nigh,—
Julia:
The leaves shook; and a butterfly
Trailed past; and through the sleepy sky
A bird flew, crying strange its cry —
Then suddenly before my eye
Two lovers strolled — They knew not why
I looked amazed,—
But I had seen old ghosts of long dead loves go by.

Submitted: Tuesday, September 21, 2010

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