An August Wood Road

By Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts

When the partridge coveys fly
In the birch-tops cool and high;

When the dry cicadas twang
Where the purpling fir-cones hang;

When the bunch-berries emboss—
Scarlet beads—the roadside moss;

Brown with shadows, bright with sun,
All day long till day is done

Sleeps in murmuring solitude
The worn old road that threads the wood.

In its deep cup—grassy, cool—
Sleeps the little roadside pool;

Sleeps the butterfly on the weed,
Sleeps the drifted thistle-seed.

Like a great and blazing gem,
Basks the beetle on the stem.

Up and down the shining rays
Dancing midges weave their maze.

High among the moveless boughs,
Drunk with day, the night-hawks drowse.

Far up, unfathomably blue,
August’s heaven vibrates through.

The old road leads to all things good;
The year’s at full, and time’s at flood.