Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
1479. The Wayside Virgin
By Langdon Elwyn Mitchell (“John Philip Varley”)
I AM the Virgin; from this granite ledge
A hundred weary winters have I watched
The lonely road that wanders at my feet;
And many days I ’ve sat here, in my lap
A little heap of snow, and overheard        5
The dry, dead voices of sere, rustling leaves;
While scarce a beggar creaked across the way.
How very old I am! I have forgot
The day they fixed me here; and whence I came,
With crown of gold, and all my tarnished blue.        10
How green the grass is now, and all around
Blossoms the May; but it is cold in here,
Sunless and cold.—Now comes a little maid
To kneel among the asters at my feet;
What a sweet noise she makes, like murmurings        15
Of bees in June! I wonder what they say,
These rosy mortals, when they look at me?
I wonder why
They call me Mary and bow down to me?
Oh, I am weary of my painted box,—        20
Come, child,
And lay thy warm face on my wooden cheek,
That I may feel it glow as once of yore
It glowed when I, a cedar’s happy heart,
Felt the first sunshine of the early spring!        25


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