THIS mountain is my property alone:
A hard expanse of cocklebur and pines,
A lace of grass subsiding into stone,
And overhead a purple fret of vines.
These are my woods, and this my personal scene:
Where fallen underfoot the balsam boughs
And partridge feathers pattern each ravine,
And where the hornet plots his paper house.
For no man knows this place so well as I;
Not one has seen this roof of branches torn
By sun, or watched the overhanging sky
Scraped by a wing as sharply as a thorn.
This place is mine, where evening breeds alarm:
A thin disquiet sharpened with despair,
Where dusk approaches like a locust swarm
Spreading its copper rumor down the air.
From here I came, and here I must return,
A rightful habitant to claim his own.
As any sharp-eyed creature’s in the fern,
This mountain is my property alone.