The Chipmunk, by Madison Cawein


  He makes a roadway of the crumbling fence,
    Or on the fallen tree,—brown as a leaf
  Fall stripes with russet,—gambols down the dense
  Green twilight of the woods. We see not whence
    He comes, nor whither (in a time so brief)
  He vanishes—swift carrier of some Fay,
    Some pixy steed that haunts our child-belief—
  A goblin glimpse upon some wildwood way.


  What harlequin mood of nature qualified
    Him so with happiness? and limbed him with
  Such young activity as winds, that ride
  The ripples, have, dancing on every side?
    As sunbeams know, that urge the sap and pith
  Through hearts of trees? yet made him to delight,
    Gnome-like, in darkness,—like a moonlight myth,—
  Lairing in labyrinths of the under night.


  Here, by a rock, beneath the moss, a hole
    Leads to his home, the den wherein he sleeps;
  Lulled by near noises of the laboring mole
  Tunneling its mine—like some ungainly Troll—
    Or by the tireless cricket there that keeps
  Picking its rusty and monotonous lute;
    Or slower sounds of grass that creeps and creeps,
  And trees unrolling mighty root on root.


  Such is the music of his sleeping hours.
    Day hath another—'tis a melody
  He trips to, made by the assembled flowers,
  And light and fragrance laughing 'mid the bowers,
    And ripeness busy with the acorn-tree.
  Such strains, perhaps, as filled with mute amaze
    (The silent music of Earth's ecstasy)
  The Satyr's soul, the Faun of classic days.