When the grey lake-water rushes
Past the dripping alder-bushes,
And the bodeful autumn wind
In the fir-tree weeps and hushes, --
My glad feet shod with the glittering steel
I was the god of the wingèd heel.
The hills in the far white sky were lost;
I was spawned from the glacier,
A thousand miles due north
Beyond Cape Chidley;
And the spawning,
O Child of Nations, giant-limbed,
Who stand'st among the nations now
Unheeded, unadored, unhymned,
With unanointed brow, --
Tons upon tons the brown-green fragrant hay
O'erbrims the mows beyond the time-warped eaves,
Up to the rafters where the spider weaves,
Though few flies wander his secluded way.
The morning sky is white with mist, the earth
White with the inspiration of the dew.
The harvest light is on the hills anew,
And cheer in the grave acres' fruitful girth.
O rivers rolling to the sea
From lands that bear the maple-tree,
How swell your voices with the strain
Of loyalty and liberty!
I see the harsh, wind-ridden, eastward hill,
By the red cattle pastured, blanched with dew;
The small, mossed hillocks where the clay gets through;
The grey webs woven on milkweed tops at will.
Summers and summers have come, and gone with the flight of the swallow;
Sunshine and thunder have been, storm, and winter, and frost;
Many and many a sorrow has all but died from remembrance,
Many a dream of joy fall'n in the shadow of pain.