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The winds into his pulses. Hush! 't is he!
My oriole, my glance of summer fire,

Is come at last, and, ever on the watch,
70 Twitches the pack-thread I had lightly wound
About the bough to help his housekeeping,-
Twitches and scouts by turns, blessing his luck,
Yet fearing me who laid it in his way,
Nor, more than wiser we in our affairs,
75 Divines the providence that hides and helps.
Heave, ho! Heave, ho! he whistles as the twine
Slackens its hold; once more, now! and a flash
Lightens across the sunlight to the elm
Where his mate dangles at her cup of felt.
80 Nor all nis booty is the thread; he trails
My loosened thought with it along the air,
And I must follow, would I ever find
The inward rhyme to all this wealth of life.

I care not how men trace their ancestry,
85 To ape or Adam; let them please their whim;
But I in June am midway to believe
A tree among my far progenitors,
Such sympathy is mine with all the race,
Such mutual recognition vaguely sweet

90 There is between us. Surely there are times
When they consent to own me of their kin,
And condescend to me, and call me cousin,
Murmuring faint lullabies of eldest time,
Forgotten, and yet dumbly felt with thrills
95 Moving the lips, though fruitless of the words.
And I have many a life-long leafy friend,
Never estranged nor careful of my soul,
That knows I hate the axe, and welcomes me
Within his tent as if I were a bird,

Or other free companion of the earth,

Yet undegenerate to the shifts of men.

Among them one, an ancient willow, spreads

Eight balanced limbs, springing at once all round
His deep-ridged trunk with upward slant diverse,

105 In outline like enormous beaker, fit

For hand of Jotun, where, 'mid snow and mist

He holds unwieldy revel.

I know not by what grace,

This tree, spared,

for in the blood

Of our New World subduers lingers yet

10 Hereditary feud with trees, they being

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(They and the red-man most) our fathers' foes, Is one of six, a willow Pleiades,

The seventh fallen, that lean along the brink
Where the steep upland dips into the marsh,
115 Their roots, like molten metal cooled in flowing,
Stiffened in coils and runnels down the bank.

The friend of all the winds, wide-armed he towers
And glints his steely aglets in the sun,

Or whitens fitfully with sudden bloom

120 Of leaves breeze-lifted, much as when a shoal
Of devious minnows wheel from where a pike
Lurks balanced 'neath the lily-pads, and whirl
A rood of silver bellies to the day.

Alas! no acorn from the British oak

125 'Neath which slim fairies tripping wrought those


Of greenest emerald, wherewith fireside life
Did with the invisible spirit of Nature wed,

106. Jotun is a giant in the Scandinavian mythology. 112. The Pleiades were seven daughters of Atlas and Fleione; to escape the hunter Orion, they begged to be changed in forin, and were made a constellation in the heavens. Only six were visible to the naked eye, so the seventh was held to be a lost Pleiad, and several stories were told to account for the loss.

Was ever planted here! No darnel fancy

Might choke one useful blade in Puritan fields; 130 With horn and hoof the good old Devil came, The witch' broomstick was not contraband, But all th superstition had of fair,

Or piety of native sweet, was doomed. And if there be who nurse unholy faiths, 135 Fearing their god as if he were a wolf

That snuffed round every home and was not seen, There should be some to watch and keep alive All beautiful beliefs. And such was that, By solitary shepherd first surmised 140 Under Thessalian oaks, loved by some maid Of royal stirp, that silent came and vanished, As near her nest the hermit thrush, nor dared Confess a mortal name, that faith which gave A Hamadryad to each tree; and I

145 Will hold it true that in this willow dwells
The open-handed spirit, frank and blithe,
Of ancient Hospitality, long since,
With ceremonious thrift, bowed out of doors.

In June 't is good to lie beneath a tree 150 While the blithe season comforts every sense, Steeps all the brain in rest, and heals the heart Brimming it o'er with sweetness unawares, Fragrant and silent as that rosy snow Wherewith the pitying apple-tree fills up

55 And tenderly lines some last-year robin's nest. There muse I of old times, old hopes, old


Old friends! The writing of those words has borne My fancy backward to the gracious past, The generous past, when all was possible, 160 For all was then untried; the years between

Have taught some sweet, some bitter lessons, none
Wiser than this, to spend in all things else,

But of old friends to be most miserly.

Each year to ancient friendships adds a ring, 165 As to an oak, and precious more and more, Without deservingness or help of ours,

They grow, and, silent, wider spread, each year,
Their unbought ring of shelter or of shade.
Sacred to me the .ichens on the bark,

170 Which Nature's milliners would scrape away;
Most dear and sacred every withered limb!
'Tis good to set them early, for our faith
Pines as we age, and, after wrinkles come,
Few plant, but water dead ones with vain tears.

175 This willow is as old to me as life;

And under it full often have I stretched,
Feeling the warm earth like a thing alive,

And gathering virtue in at every pore

Till it possessed me wholly, and thought ceased, 180 Or was transfused in something to which thought

Is coarse and dull of sense. Myself was lost,
Gone from me like an ache, and what remained
Became a part of the universal joy.

My soul went forth, and, mingling with the tree, 185 Danced in the leaves; or, floating in the cloud, Saw its white double in the stream below;

Or else, sublimed to purer ecstasy,

Dilated in the broad blue over all.

I was the wind that dappled the lush grass, 190 The tide that crept with coolness to its roots,

The thin-winged swallow skating on the air;
The life that gladdened everything was mine.
Was I then truly all that I beheld?

Or is this stream of being but a glass

95 Where the mind see its visionary self,

As, when the kingfisher flits o'er his bay,
Across the river's hollow heaven below,
His picture flits, — another, yet the same?
But suddenly the sound of human voice

200 Or footfall, like the drop a chemist pours,

Doth in opacous cloud precipitate

The consciousness that seemed but now dissolved
Into an essence rarer than its own,

And I am narrowed to myself once more.

205 For here not long is solitude secure,
Nor Fantasy left vacant to her spell.

Here, sometimes, in this paradise of shade,
Rippled with western winds, the dusty Tramp,
Seeing the treeless causey burn beyond,
210 Halts to unroll his bundle of strange food

And munch an unearned meal. I cannot help
Liking this creature, lavish Summer's bedesman,
Who from the almshouse steals when nights grow


Himself his large estate and only charge,
215 To be the guest of haystack or of hedge,
Nobly superior to the household gear
That forfeits us our privilege of nature.
I bait him with my match-box and my pouch,
Nor grudge the uncostly sympathy of smoke,
220 His equal now, divinely unemployed.

Some smack of Robin Hood is in the man,
Some secret league with wild wood-wandering


He is our ragged Duke, our barefoot Earl,
By right of birth exonerate from toil,
225 Who levies rent from us his tenants all,

And serves the state by merely being. Here,
The Scissors-grinder, pausing, doffs his hat,

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