Each Side the Bridge: A Dutch Painting

OVER the sylvan creek the bridge
Is arched, with pools each side that lie
In amber hues, where gnat and midge,
Hazy and gray, their dances ply.
In the low evening light the maze
Grows golden, whirling up and down,
Dilating, shrinking, till the rays
Melt into twilight soft and brown.
The horses drag the wagon there,
To steep their hot lips in the balm;
One lifts his dripping mouth in air,
While stands the other fixed in calm.
A picture dim in india ink,
The bridge, the wagon, and the steeds,
The rough road sloping to the brink,
The one tall elm and clustered weeds.
The farmer sits, with elbowed whip,
His spouse beside and daughter Rose;
While from the wheels the eddies slip,
And down the braided current flows.
The horses move, the wheels splash round;
From the rough pool the picture parts;
A spectral shape glides o’er the ground,
As home the rumbling wagon starts.
With lengthened bridle, stooping neck,
Within the horseman’s roadster wades ;
Making the sunset tints a wreck
Of broken bits and ruffled shades.
Sweet as its name, the gentle stream
Slides on with scarce a water-break;
Here shooting forth a narrow gleam,
There spreading to a fairy lake.
On its damp flow of glossy sand
The snipe’s small star-like prints are found ;
The crane there takes its patient stand ;
Silent the musk-rat skims around.
Alfred B. Street.