Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
Night for Adventures
By Victor Starbuck
SOMETIMES when fragrant summer dusk comes in with scent of rose and musk
  And scatters from their sable husk the stars like yellow grain,
Oh then the ancient longing comes that lures me like a roll of drums
  To follow where the cricket strums his banjo in the lane.
And when the August moon comes up and like a shallow silver cup        5
  Pours out upon the fields and roads her amber-colored beams,
A leafy whisper mounts and calls from out the forest’s moss-grown halls
  To leave the city’s somber walls and take the road o’ dreams.
A call that bids me rise and strip, and naked all from toe to lip
  To wander where the dewdrops drip from off the silent trees,        10
And where the hairly spiders spin their nets of silver, fragile-thin,
  And out to where the fields begin, like down upon the breeze.
Into a silver pool to plunge, and like a great trout wheel and lunge
  Among the lily bonnets and the stars reflected there;
With face upturned to lie afloat, with moonbeams rippling round my throat,        15
  And from the slimy grasses plait a chaplet for my hair.
Then, leaping from my rustic bath, to take some winding meadow-path;
  Across the fields of aftermath to run with flying feet,
And feel the dewdrop-weighted grass that bends beneath me as I pass,
  Where solemn trees in shadowy mass beyond the highway meet.        20
And, plunging deep within the woods, among the leaf-hung solitudes
  Where scarce one timid star intrudes into the breathless gloom,
Go leaping down some fern-hid way to scare the rabbits in their play,
  And see the owl, a phantom gray, drift by on silent plume.
To fling me down at length and rest upon some damp and mossy nest,        25
  And hear the choir of surpliced frogs strike up a bubbling tune;
And watch, above the dreaming trees, Orion and the Hyades
  And all the stars, like golden bees around the lily-moon.
.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .
Then who can say if I have gone a-gipsying from dusk till dawn
  In company with fay and faun, where firefly-lanterns gleam?        30
And have I danced on cobwebs thin to Master Locust’s mandolin—
  Or have I spent the night in bed, and was it all a dream?

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