A Pasture

ROUGH pasture where the blackberries grow!—
It bears upon its churlish face
No sign of beauty, art, or grace;
Not here the silvery coverts glow
That April and the angler know.

There sleeps no brooklet in this wild,
Smooth-resting on its mosses sleek,
Like loving lips upon a cheek
Soft as the face of maid or child,—
Just boulders, helter-skelter piled.

Ungenerous nature but endows
These acres with the stumps and stocks
Which should be trees, with rude, gray rocks;
Over these humps and hollows browse,
Daily, the awkward, shambling cows.

Here on the right a straggling wall
Of crazy, granite stones, and there
A rotten pine-trunk, brown and bare,
A mass of huge brakes, rank and tall,—
The burning blue sky over all.

And yet these blackberries shy and chaste!
The noisy markets know no such,—
So ripe they tumble when you touch;
Long, taper—rarer wines they waste
Than ever town-bred topers taste.

And tell me! have you looked o’erhead,
From lawns where lazy hammocks swing,
And seen such orioles on the wing?
Such flames of song that flashed and fled?
Well, maybe—I ’m not city-bred.

by Frederic Lawrence Knowles


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