Katharine Lee Bates

(1859-1929 / United States)

Playmates - Poem by Katharine Lee Bates

SUMMER fervors slacken;
Sumac torches dim;
There's bronze upon the bracken;
September has a whim
For carmine, pearl and amber
Touches on her green;
Busy squirrels clamber;
Restless birds convene.
Where Indian pipe still blanches,
Where hoary lichen flakes
Forest trunks and branches,
The golden foxglove makes
A mimic wood that tosses
Warning to the trees,
Then droops upon the mosses,
Heavy with bloom and bees.
What rumbelow of revel
Deep in those honey-jars!
A saffron moth, with level
And languid motion, stars
The air until he settles
At the last pink-clover inn,
Ignoring prouder petals
That would his favor win.
Among those wildwood vagrants
I strolled, alone no more.
Was it the sweet-fern fragrance
That stirred a long-sealed door
Of Time's enchanted tower?
A little maid ran free
And for one sunny hour
My childhood played with me.

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Poem Submitted: Friday, April 16, 2010

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