Verse > Anthologies > William Wilfred Campbell, ed. > The Oxford Book of Canadian Verse
William Wilfred Campbell, comp.  The Oxford Book of Canadian Verse.  1913.
Untrodden Ways
By Agnes Maule Machar (1837–1927)
WHERE close the curving mountains drew,
  To clasp the stream in their embrace,
With every outline, shade and hue
  Reflected in its placid face,
The ploughman stops his team to watch        5
  The train, as swift it thunders by;
Some distant glimpse of life to catch,
  He strains his eager, wistful eye.
His waiting horses patient stand
  With wonder in their gentle eyes,        10
As through the tranquil mountain land
  The snorting engine onward flies.
The morning freshness is on him,
  Just wakened from his balmy dreams;
The wayfarers, all soiled and dim,        15
  Think longingly of mountain streams.
Oh, for the joyous mountain air,
  The long, delightful autumn day
Among the hills!—the ploughman there
  Must have perpetual holiday!        20
And he, as all day long he guides
  His steady plough with patient hand,
Thinks of the train that onward glides
  Into some new enchanted land,
Where, day by day, no plodding round        25
  Wearies the frame and dulls the mind,
Where life thrills keen to sight and sound,
  With ploughs and furrows left behind!
Even so to each the untrod ways
  Of life are touched by Fancy’s glow,        30
That ever sheds its brightest rays
  Upon the paths we do not know!

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