Poems (Coates 1916)/Volume I/Jewel-Weed

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For other versions of this work, see Jewel-Weed.


THOU lonely, dew-wet mountain road,
 Traversed by toiling feet each day,
What rare enchantment maketh thee
 Appear so gay?

Thy sentinels, on either hand
 Rise tamarack, birch, and balsam-fir,
O'er the familiar shrubs that greet
 The wayfarer;

But here's a magic cometh new—
 A joy to gladden thee, indeed:
This passionate out-flowering of
 The jewel-weed,

That now, when days are growing drear,
 As Summer dreams that she is old,
Hangs out a myriad pleasure-bells
 Of mottled gold!

Thine only, these, thou lonely road!
 Though hands that take, and naught restore,
Rob thee of other treasured things,
 Thine these are, for

A fairy, cradled in each bloom,
 To all who pass the charmèd spot
Whispers in warning: "Friend, admire,—
 But touch me not!

"Leave me to blossom where I sprung,
 A joy untarnished shall I seem;
Pluck me, and you dispel the charm
 And blur the dream!"