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

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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!"