Poetry of Kansas

The Land Beyond The Valley

A dreamer on the hillside, in late September's glow,
Looked down upon the valley that lay serene below.
The blue wood-smoke upcurling, the fresh brown earth up-
        turned,
The winding road where dully the dusky sumac burned,-
All these and more he saw not, for past its farthest rim
The land beyond the valley was beckoning to him.
 
The fresh winds of September that sweep in/rom the west
Had filled his soul with longings and swayed it with unrest.
Beyond that little valley there lay a land unknown,
And some day he would seek it and claim it for his own.
Ah, some day he would follow past where the sumacs burn
The gray road leading outward, and nevermore return.
 
And so he dreamed; and, dreaming, forgot the hot unrest___
That human cry for something unseen and unpossessed___
Till once again September across the valley stepped
And he must needs remember. The old, strange longings swept
Upon him; yet, as ever, in changing blue and gray,
The hovering mists, unlifted, above the valley lay.
 
.     .     .     .     .     .
 
(To you and me, Beloved, though well content we seem,
At times there come, unbidden, the vision and the dream.
What yours may be, I know not; and mine you may not know,
Yet 'tis the same unquiet of soul that shakes us so.
And though sweet Fortune bring us gifts rich and marvelous,
Some land beyond the valley will always beckon us.)
 
.     .     .     .     .     .
 
Perhaps if he could wander adown the hillside green,
Across the little valley that lieth in between,
And find the land beyond it, then its enchanted air
Would fade and he should find it less wonderful and fair.
Ah, happier he a-dreaming that dream no change can dim:
The land beyond the valley whose gray mists beckoned him!
 

The Call of Kansas and Other Poems
Esther M. (Clark) Hill
(Cedar Rapids: Torch Press. __)
Page 23

 
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November 15, 2002 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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