Down The Trail

By Nora May French

Break camp, the dawn is here!
  A sea has swept beneath us in the night—
Poured outward in a wrinkled floor of white,
And left our eyrie clear.
There in the deeps the little trail is curled—
We plunge like divers to the under-world.

The manzanita stirs!
Look, in that little thicket just ahead!
Down, down, the covey whirrs,
Mocking us, careful, led,
Slow-slipping beads along a slender thread.

Here the stream flows;
Here we tread yellow leaves.
(Sun in the sycamores,
Sun on the granite walls.)
All is so still,
Never wind blows,
Only the singing stream
Shouts little waterfalls.

We round the mighty shoulder of a hill—
Oh, sweet airs damp with ferns!
The day is old, the lengthening shadows chill—
The wanderer returns.

Traffic, and wakeful eyes of little lights;
The black crowd passing near; and far away
A fading rose of sunset hanging low
Above the roofs of indigo and grey.