A LA CAMPAGNE

The night, whose silences detach each sound,
The leaves, as whispering heralds in a wood,
Stir hopes of you about my solitude.
Was that a carriage wheel upon the ground?
—The grassy ground that brings the road uphill
Would muffle horses hoofs—I listen still—
A nervous motion at my heart: the bound
Of too responsive veins—a hush profound.

I hear a night bird call its mate?… a hound
Out on the farm bark at some peasant maid
Too tired with harvesting to feel afraid.
… Loosed, and now tied, scenting the sunny air,
All day she combed and tossed the fields’ dim hair,
As some mute servant tending a fair queen
She works in beauty neither felt nor seen,
While I have nature, all the whole earth over,
For company. Yet anxious as a lover
Prisoned in sentiment, I watch and start.
Is it then just for you I live apart?
The moon, as milk caught in a pail, now flows
Over its rim, whit’ning the dark that glows—
I saw your absence less by day, and less
This summers brilliant, living emptiness.



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