WASTELAND
			(by Madison Cawein)
	riar and fennel and chincapin,
		And rue and ragweed everywhere;
	The field seemed sick as a soul with sin,
		Or dead of an old despair,
		Born of an ancient care.

	The cricket's cry and the locust's whirr,
		And the note of a bird's distress,
	With the rasping sound of the grasshopper,
		Clung to the loneliness
		Like burrs to a trailing dress.

	So sad the field, so waste the ground,
		So curst with an old despair,
	A woodchuck's burrow, a blind mole's mound,
		And a chipmunk's stony lair,
		Seemed more than it could bear.

	So lonely, too, so more than sad,
		So droning-lone with bees--
	I wondered what more could Nature add
		To the sum of its miseries. . .
		And then--I saw the trees.
	
	Skeletons gaunt that gnarled the place,
		Twisted and torn they rose--
	The tortured bones of a perished race
		Of monsters no mortal knows,
		They startled the mind's repose.

	And a man stood there, as still as moss,
		A lichen form that stared;
	With an old blind hound that, at a loss,
		Forever around him fared
		With a snarling fang half bared.

	I looked at the man; I saw him plain;
		Like a dead weed, gray and wan,
	Or a breath of dust.  I looked again--
		And man and dog were gone,
		Like wisps of the graying dawn. . . .

	Were they a part of the grim death there--
		Ragweed, fennel, and rue?
	Or forms of the mind, an old despair,
		That there into semblance grew
		Out of the grief I knew?

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