The Tree Toad, by Madison Cawein


  Secluded, solitary on some underbough,
    Or cradled in a leaf, 'mid glimmering light,
  Like Puck thou crouchest: Haply watching how
    The slow toadstool comes bulging, moony white,
    Through loosening loam; or how, against the night,
  The glowworm gathers silver to endow
    The darkness with; or how the dew conspires
    To hang, at dusk, with lamps of chilly fires
      Each blade that shrivels now.


  O vague confederate of the whippoorwill,
    Of owl and cricket and the katydid!
  Thou gatherest up the silence in one shrill
    Vibrating note and send'st it where, half hid
    In cedars, twilight sleeps—each azure lid
  Drooping a line of golden eyeball still.—
    Afar, yet near, I hear thy dewy voice
    Within the Garden of the Hours apoise
      On dusk's deep daffodil.


  Minstrel of moisture! silent when high noon
    Shows her tanned face among the thirsting clover
  And parching meadows, thy tenebrious tune
    Wakes with the dew or when the rain is over.
    Thou troubadour of wetness and damp lover
  Of all cool things! admitted comrade boon
    Of twilight's hush, and little intimate
    Of eve's first fluttering star and delicate
      Round rim of rainy moon!


  Art trumpeter of Dwarfland? does thy horn
    Inform the gnomes and goblins of the hour
  When they may gambol under haw and thorn,
    Straddling each winking web and twinkling flower?
    Or bell-ringer of Elfland? whose tall tower
  The liriodendron is? from whence is borne
    The elfin music of thy bell's deep bass,
    To summon Faeries to their starlit maze,
      To summon them or warn.