A Day in Colorado

INTENT the conscious mountains stood,
The friendly blossoms nodded,
As through the canyon’s lonely wood
We two in silence plodded. A something called our presence good;
The very breeze that stirred our hair
Whispered a gentle greeting;
A sweet, grand courtesy was there,
A welcome, from the summit bare
Down to the brook’s entreating.
Stray warblers in the branches dark
Shot through the leafy passes,
While the long note of meadow-lark
Rose from the neighb’ring grasses;
The yellow lupines, spark on spark,
From the more open woodland way,
Flashed through the sunlight faintly;
A wind-blown little flower, once gay,
Looked up between her petals gray
And smiled a message saintly.
The giant ledges, red and seamed,
The clear, blue sky, tree-fretted;
The mottled light that round us streamed,
The brooklet, vexed and petted;
The bees that buzzed, the gnats that dreamed,
The flitting, gauzy things of June;
The plain, far-off, like misty ocean,
Or, cloudland bound, a fair lagoon, —
They sang within us like a tune,
They swayed us like a dream of motion.
The hours went, loitering, to the west,
The shadows lengthened slowly;
The radiant snow on mountain crest
Made all the distance holy. Near by, the earth lay full of rest,
The sleepy foot-hills, one by one,
Dimpled their way to twilight;
And ere the perfect day was done,
There came long gleams of tinted sun
Through heaven’s crimson skylight.
Slowly crept on the listening night,
The sinking moon shone pale and slender;
We hailed the cotton-woods, in sight,
The home-roof gleaming near and tender,
Guiding our quickened steps aright. Soon darkened all the mighty hills,
The gods wore sitting there in shadow;
Lulled were the noisy woodland rills,
Silent the silvery woodland trills, —
'T was starlight over Colorado!
Mary Mapes Dodge.