Saturday, May 20, 2017

Beneath Apple Boughs / Lee Wilson Dodd

Beneath Apple Boughs


Cool green and paling blue,
     Leaves patterned on the sky,
Blossoms in pomp of May,
     Stirred as a breeze sifts through
Stealing their souls away.
     Now one by one they fly . . .
     Blossom or butterfly? . . .
Showering me as I lie,
A nympholept of the day.


The sloping orchard leads
     Down to the valley fields;
Far hills are faint in the haze
Of languid light. As I gaze
     The vision wavers and yields
To a flitting dream,
     And I seem to hear
A ripple of voices or else a stream
     That bubbles near.
Then I wake and study the weeds
     A foot from my nose;
     Then I doze
And the ripple of dream succeeds.


Bees are busy above me,
     Droning with sleepy toil ;
From blossom to blossom, from tree to tree
          They slant:
          At my ear a fidgety ant
     Tickles his way till I suddenly foil
     His explorations; the sun like oil,
Clear as amber, drips from the leaves.
A riotous bobolink deceives
With a glory of song, as though a dozen
Warbled together, cousin and cousin!


Cool green and paling blue,
     Blossoms in pomp of May,
Slow sunlight drizzling through
     Dreaming the noon away
I smile to the patterned sky;
Blossom — or butterfly? —
Showering me as I lie
With languid vision that yields to a dream
Of liquid voices and laughing stream.


To-day I have taken ease —
All the antient liberties —
With my brothers the apple-trees!
     I have felt their sap in my veins;
My thoughts like blossoms have been
Lucidly fair — without sin.
I go home with the evening breeze,
     But the calm of noon remains.

Lee Wilson Dodd (1879-1933)
from A Modern Alchemist, and other poems, 1906

[Poem is in the public domain in Canada, the United States, and the European Union]

Lee Wilson Dodd biography

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