Poetry of Kansas

In The Forest.

We lie beneath the forest shade
    Whose sunny tremors dapple us;
She is a proud-eyed Grecian maid,
    and I am Sardanapalus:
A king uncrowned, whose sole allegiance
Obtains in dusky forest regions
How cool and liquid seems the sky;
    How blue and still the distance is
White fleets of cloud at anchor lie,
    And mute are all existences,
Save here and there a bird that launches
A shaft of song among the branches.
Within this alien realm of shade
    We keep a sylvan Passover;
We happy twain__a wayward maid,
    A careless, gay philosopher;
But unto me she seems a Venus,
And Paphian grasses nod between us.
Her drooping eyelids half conceal
    A vague uncertain mystery;
Her tender glances half reveal
    A sad impassioned history:
A tale of hopes and fears unspoken,
Of thoughts that die and leave no token.
"Oh, braid a wreath of budding sprays
    And crown me queen," the maiden says;
"queen of the shadowy woodland ways,
    And wandering winds whose cadences
Are unto thee these words repeating
Which I must perish while secreting!"
I wove a wreath of leaves and buds
    And flowers with golden chalices,
And crowned her queen of summer woods
    And dreamy forest palaces,__
Queen of that realm whose tender story
Makes life a splendor, death a glory.
___Edmund Flint
Kansas In Literature
(Topeka: Crane & Company. 1900)
page 44
November 15, 2001 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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