The little dog is gone, the little dog is gone,
and all that remains of him is the memory
of a coat of moss-green, with a few leaves,
and the little stump of a tail.
But the dog was there upon one sun’s first rays kissing hills,
and send the ripples of their rays through the pale blue puddles.
They are nocturnal folk, and they live, and have their days in the
dark and their nights In the dark.
But I know not who they are, Nor where they live, nor what they do,
Nor where they come from, nor where they go.
But I know the wind With one another, out of doors, In the shade of the trees.
Their fires, like those of men, Are small and swift and soon are cold;
And when the evening is gone And the night-shadows are upon them,
They light their fires again, And sleep by day, and by night and when the
day is gone And the night-shadows are upon them, They light their fires
again, and sleep by day, and by night.
They are like men in the winter when they have their feet bare, and
the snow is deep, And their hats and their coats are all but mended,
And their boots have holes in them. And they walk with their heads bent,
And look about them like so many old men, And speak to each other in whispers.
They are like men in the winter When they have their feet bare, and the snow is deep,
And their hats and their coats are all but mended, And their boots have holes in them.
And they walk with their heads bent And speak to each Sleep by day and by night.
The nightingales are still sleeping, And all the silent crickets and frogs are
out in the garden at the dusk’s last.
The owl is dreaming by the brook And the field-mice on the farm are fast asleep
in the wall.
The moon is a light, fair-shining stone That hangs in the dark hollow That glows when the stars have fled. And I know that the silent people Who live in that lonely house
Are wondering and wondering what I am doing in the twilighT. In the dusk’s long dark.
I am sitting alone in the dark, And I am thinking that I am The child of that land that is gone, That has vanished many a summer ago, And left no trace but the cellar walls,
And a cellar in which the daylight falls, And the purple-stemmed wild raspberries grow.
O’er ruined fences the grape-vines shield The woods come back to the mowing field;
The orchard tree has grown one copse Of new wood and old where the woodpecker chops;
The footpath down to the well is healed. I dwell with a strangely aching heart In that vanished abode there far apart On that disused and forgotten road that has no dust-bath now for the toad.
Night comes; the black bats tumble and dart; the whippoorwill is coming to shout and hush and cluck and flutter about:
I hear him begin far enough away full many a time to say his say before he arrives to say it out.
It is under the small, dim, summer star.
I know not who these mute folk are who share the unlit place with me– those stones out under the low-limbed tree.
Doubtless bear names that the mosses mar.
They are tireless folk, but slow and sad,
Though two, close-keeping, are lass and lad,– with none among them that ever sings,
and yet, in view of how many things, as sweet companions as might be had.
The sun’s first rays kiss the hill, and send the ripples of their rays through
the pale blue puddles.
They are nocturnal folk, and they live, with one another, out of doors.
:: 04.23.2021 ::