Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, BESIDE THE SHORE ROAD, by HARRY RANDOLPH BLYTHE

Poetry Explorer

Classic and Contemporary Poetry

BESIDE THE SHORE ROAD, by            
First Line: Here lies an old, worn highway winding far
Last Line: Defying sense to fathom.
Subject(s): New England; Roads; Travel; Paths; Trails; Journeys; Trips

HERE lies an old, worn highway winding far
Into the dwindling distances. Along its trail
On one hand, climbing quickly toward the west,
The stone-walled meads of old New England rise
To heights of great advantage, there to watch
The crimson ceremonials of the sun,
Which takes its liveried farewell of the day
In mighty maze of color. ... This old road
Runs close beside the sea, yet ere the land
Plunges into the tide, there is a stretch
Of wondrous russet lawn which parallels
And ever keeps apace the beaten trail,
As though it fain had tried
In many a sweet, forgotten morn of spring
To throw its early emerald coverlet
Over the ashen aspect of the dust
And hide its hues forever. ... Just beyond
This sweep of sunburnt turf the open sea,
With beach line quite as winding as the road,
Heaves heavy crest of pearl. While here and there
At undeliberate, luckless intervals
Along this peaceful parking by the sea,
A row of giant trees, their branches bare
From too much wild embracing with the wind,
Stand stark in loneliness. To eastward lies
The white-whipped, tossing leagues of lambent foam;
And far out in the purple mists a sail
Shudders against a sky-line undefined. Above,
Piercing the crisp December air
Two wild birds wing their unmolested way
Unto a homing haven.... I came down
A while ago from these unharassed hills
And stood me for a time beside the road
Gazing upon the sea.... I went away
And took with me the freedom and the joy,
The loneliness, the majesty, and all
The vigor and the rapture of that scene
Defying sense to fathom.

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