The "Cattle" to the "Poet"

How do you know what the cow may know,
As under the tasselled bough she lies,
When earth is a-beat with the life below,
When the orient mornings redden and glow,
When the silent butterflies come and go,—
The dreamy cow with the Juno eyes ?

How do you know that she may not know
That the meadow all over is lettered, “Love,”
Or hear the mystic syllable low
In the grasses’ growth and the waters’ flow ?
How do you know that she may not know
What the robin sings on the twig above ?

  1. See “The Poet’s Friends,” Atlantic Monthly, vol. v., p. 185.