Verse > Anthologies > Jessie B. Rittenhouse, ed. > The Little Book of Modern Verse
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Jessie B. Rittenhouse, ed. (1869–1948).  The Little Book of Modern Verse.  1917.
 
147. The Joy of the Hills
 
By Edwin Markham
 
 
I RIDE on the mountain tops, I ride;
I have found my life and am satisfied.
Onward I ride in the blowing oats,
Checking the field-lark’s rippling notes—
        Lightly I sweep        5
        From steep to steep:
Over my head through the branches high
Come glimpses of a rushing sky;
The tall oats brush my horse’s flanks;
Wild poppies crowd on the sunny banks;        10
A bee booms out of the scented grass;
A jay laughs with me as I pass.
 
I ride on the hills, I forgive, I forget
        Life’s board of regret—
        All the terror and pain        15
        Of the chafing chain.
        Grind on, O cities, grind:
        I leave you a blur behind.
I am lifted elate—the skies expand:
Here the world’s heaped gold is a pile of sand.        20
Let them weary and work in their narrow walls:
I ride with the voices of waterfalls!
 
I swing on as one in a dream—I swing
Down the airy hollows, I shout, I sing!
The world is gone like an empty word:        25
My body’s a bough in the wind, my heart a bird!
 

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