Verse > Anthologies > > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse
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Arthur Quiller-Couch, comp.  The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse.  1922.
 
The Joys of the Road
By Bliss Carman (1861–1929)
 
NOW the joys of the road are chiefly these:
A crimson touch on the hard-wood trees;
 
A vagrant’s morning wide and blue,
In early fall, when the wind walks, too;
 
A shadowy highway cool and brown,        5
Alluring up and enticing down
 
From rippled water to dappled swamp,
From purple glory to scarlet pomp;
 
The outward eye, the quiet will,
And the striding heart from hill to hill;        10
 
The tempter apple over the fence;
The cobweb bloom on the yellow quince;
 
The palish asters along the wood,—
A lyric touch of the solitude;
 
An open hand, an easy shoe,        15
And a hope to make the day go through,—
 
Another to sleep with, and a third
To wake me up at the voice of a bird;
 
A scrap of gossip at the ferry;
A comrade neither glum nor merry,        20
 
Who never defers and never demands,
But, smiling, takes the world in his hands,—
 
Seeing it good as when God first saw
And gave it the weight of his will for law.
 
And O the joy that is never won,        25
But follows and follows the journeying sun,
 
By marsh and tide, by meadow and stream,
A will-o’-the-wind, a light-o’-dream,
 
The racy smell of the forest loam,
When the stealthy, sad-heart leaves go home;        30
 
The broad gold wake of the afternoon;
The silent fleck of the cold new moon;
 
The sound of the hollow sea’s release
From stormy tumult to starry peace;
 
With only another league to wend;        35
And two brown arms at the journey’s end!
 
These are the joys of the open road—
For him who travels without a load.
 
 
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