Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. V. Nature
Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume V. Nature.  1904.
V. Trees: Flowers: Plants
Elaine Goodale Eastman (1863–1953)
WHEN the wayside tangles blaze
  In the low September sun,
When the flowers of Summer days
  Droop and wither, one by one,
Reaching up through bush and brier,        5
Sumptuous brow and heart of fire,
Flaunting high its wind-rocked plume,
Brave with wealth of native bloom,—
When the meadow, lately shorn,        10
  Parched and languid, swoons with pain,
When her life-blood, night and morn,
  Shrinks in every throbbing vein,
Round her fallen, tarnished urn
Leaping watch-fires brighter burn;        15
Royal arch o’er Autumn’s gate,
Bending low with lustrous weight,—
In the pasture’s rude embrace,
  All o’errun with tangled vines,        20
Where the thistle claims its place,
  And the straggling hedge confines,
Bearing still the sweet impress
Of unfettered loveliness,
In the field and by the wall,        25
Binding, clasping, crowning all,—
Nature lies dishevelled, pale,
  With her feverish lips apart,—
Day by day the pulses fail,        30
  Nearer to her bounding heart;
Yet that slackened grasp doth hold
Store of pure and genuine gold;
Quick thou comest, strong and free,
Type of all the wealth to be,—        35

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