THE OPEN ROAD.
OUT past the bars of Square and Place,
And streets where toilers bear their load, Past all the hurrying populace There runs the Open Road.
How white its ribbon measures out The sun-baked acres round the town ! How hoarse the People's empty shout Behind us travels down!
They fret, but we, with scrip and staff, Take pilgrims' way some dusty eve. Behind the People snatch and laugh Over the toys we leave.
Beyond us lies the heathy hill, Lone valleys where the brown streams meet, The low-roofed cot, the turning mill, The waving plains of wheat.
Before us still the wide skies arch, The primrose West with rose is strewed, And shadowy cloud-battalions march Across its solitude.
The wild-flower clusters brighter twine, The wild birds' note more clearly rings, And from the shade of beech and pine Look forth the forest things.
But far behind, through dusty days The People fret against their bars, And set no foot in open ways, Nor eye the evening stars.
And some have paused by purple slope To hear the echo of their sighs, Turned back to bring the People hope, And toiled to make them wise.
For air and the blue heav'n are free (Say they), and peace is not for few, And these must share, as well as we, The stars and morning dew.
These must come forth with pilgrim song, With light-weighed scrip and strength'ning rod, For unto all the roads belong, And the straight paths of God.