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[197]

I. The river valley.

Across the level tableland,
     A grassy, rarely trodden way,
With thinnest skirt of birchen spray

And stunted growth of cedar, leads
     To where you see the dull plain fall
Sheer off, steep-slanted, ploughed by all

The seasons' rainfalls. On its brink
     The over-leaning harebells swing,
With roots half bare the pine-trees cling;

And, through the shadow looking west,
     You see the wavering river flow
Along a vale, that far below

Holds to the sun, the sheltering hills
     And glimmering water-line between,
Broad fields of corn and meadows green,

And fruit-bent orchards grouped around
     The low brown roofs and painted eaves,
And chimney-tops half hid in leaves.

No warmer valley hides behind
     Yon wind-scourged sand-dunes, cold and bleak;
No fairer river comes to seek

The wave-sung welcome of the sea,
     Or mark the northmost border line
Of sun-loved growths of nut and vine.

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