Paths, by Madison Cawein

I

  What words of mine can tell the spell
  Of garden ways I know so well?—
  The path that takes me in the spring
  Past quince-trees where the bluebirds sing,
  And peonies are blossoming,
  Unto a porch, wistaria-hung,
  Around whose steps May-lilies blow,
  A fair girl reaches down among,
  Her arm more white than their sweet snow.

II

  What words of mine can tell the spell
  Of garden ways I know so well?—
  Another path that leads me, when
  The summer time is here again,
  Past hollyhocks that shame the west
  When the red sun has sunk to rest;
  To roses bowering a nest,
  A lattice, 'neath which mignonette
  And deep geraniums surge and sough,
  Where, in the twilight, starless yet,
  A fair girl's eyes are stars enough.

III

  What words of mine can tell the spell
  Of garden ways I know so well?—
  A path that takes me, when the days
  Of autumn wrap the hills in haze,
  Beneath the pippin-pelting tree,
  'Mid flitting butterfly and bee;
  Unto a door where, fiery,
  The creeper climbs; and, garnet-hued,
  The cock's-comb and the dahlia flare,
  And in the door, where shades intrude,
  Gleams bright a fair girl's sunbeam hair.

IV

  What words of mine can tell the spell
  Of garden ways I know so well?—
  A path that brings me through the frost
  Of winter, when the moon is tossed
  In clouds; beneath great cedars, weak
  With shaggy snow; past shrubs blown bleak
  With shivering leaves; to eaves that leak
  The tattered ice, whereunder is
  A fire-flickering window-space;
  And in the light, with lips to kiss,
  A fair girl's welcome-smiling face.