A Song of Far Travel

MANY a time some drowsy oar
From the nearer bank invited,
Crossed a narrow stream, and bore
In among the reeds moon-lighted,
There to leave me on a shore
No ferryman hath sighted.
Many a time a mountain stile,
Dark and bright with sudden wetting,
Lured my vagrant foot the while
’Twixt uplifting and down-setting, —
Whither? Thousand mile on mile
Beyond the last forgetting.
Long by hidden ways I wend,
(Past occasion grown a ranger);
Yet enchantment, like a friend,
Takes from death the tang of danger:
Hardly river or road can end
Where I need step a stranger!