Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, RHODE ISLAND, by AMOS RUSSEL WELLS

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RHODE ISLAND, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: The state of country byways, quaintly lined
Last Line: Spirit of roger williams, come again!
Subject(s): Rhode Island

The State of country byways, quaintly lined
With bush and brake and fragrances thickset;
The State of ancient villages refined:
Above their streets the arching elms have met
For many generations, till they seem
The corridors of some long-brooding dream.

Grim granite elbows through the shallow soil,
The fields are fenced with gray and massive stone;
The little farms will answer sturdy toil
And careful thought, but answer those alone;
No region this of generous-giving leas,
Of ready harvesting and languid ease.

Yet many berries glimmer in the wood,
The wild grape hangs in many a fruited bower,
The gnarled apple orchards bend with food,
The waysides gleam with many a splendid flower,
The hills are delicate with laurel blooms,
And rhododendron lights the forest glooms.

This land is loved by ocean; far and deep
The long bays reach among the sloping fields,
And tenderly the shining waters creep
Where waiting marsh a silent welcome yields,
And slow brown currents in the shadows run,
And thick-ranked sedges glitter in the sun.

How strangely to this realm of ancient peace
The factory folk, swart faces, foreign tongue,
Caught in their clattering tasks that never cease,
The curse of Cain, so old, yet always young.
Here, to these groping, restless, fiery men,
Spirit of Roger Williams, come again!

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