Verse > Rudyard Kipling > Verse: 1885–1918
Rudyard Kipling (1865–1936).  Verse: 1885–1918.  1922.
The Prairie
“I SEE the grass shake in the sun for leagues on either hand,
I see a river loop and run about a treeless land—
An empty plain, a steely pond, a distance diamond-clear,
And low blue naked hills beyond. And what is that to fear?”
“Go softly by that river-side or, when you would depart,        5
You’ll find its every winding tied and knotted round your heart.
Be wary as the seasons pass, or you may ne’er outrun
The wind that sets that yellowed grass a-shiver ’neath the Sun.”
“I hear the summer storm outblown—the drip of the grateful wheat.
I hear the hard trail telephone a far-off horse’s feet.        10
I hear the horns of Autumn blow to the wild-fowl overhead;
And I hear the hush before the snow. And what is that to dread?”
“Take heed what spell the lightning weaves—what charm the echoes shape—
Or, bound among a million sheaves, your soul shall not escape.
Bar home the door of summer nights lest those high planets drown        15
The memory of near delights in all the longed-for town.”
“What need have I to long or fear? Now, friendly, I behold
My faithful seasons robe the year in silver and in gold.
Now I possess and am possessed of the land where I would be,
And the curve of half Earth’s generous breast shall soothe and ravish me!”        20

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