Albery Allson Whitman

The Deserted Road

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Away thro' the blue distant hills,
Thou windest, deserted old Road;
By farm houses brown and gray mills
And log huts, the woodman's abode.


Since enterprise with iron speed,
Steams on over mountain and plain,
Industry of thee hath no need,
Aod leaves thee washed red by the rain.


But such was not always the case,
For yonder where wanes the ago,
Loud Travel with bright, hopeful face,
Rolled over thee proudly but slow.


Then rudeness with plenty was blest,
And health was the consort of toil;
Then "far as the East from the West,"
Was business from panic's turmoil.


But fast times have lured with great shows,
The simple from certainty's shore,
To where wealth into wealth only flows,
And scorns the bare hands of the poor.


Alas! since we all can't be rich,
Allow the poor poverty's ways;
Contentment will bring all that which
Wealth finds in her wasteful displays.


The orbit too great for the sphere,
Speeds motion too fast or too slow;
Let poverty learn to dwell where
Fair Plentitude's hilltops are low.


Ambition deceives with a smile,
Those who in the gust of the times,
Instead of the sure calm of toil,
Would rush into wealth-blooming climes.


To speed on thro' life's a mistake,
To reach our desires too soon;
The charm of expecting will break,
And bring on our night before noon.


Our pleasures reaped singly are best,
More lasting by far gathered slow;
The fields in sweet flowers are drest,
That come in their seasons -- then grow.


The many old pleasures that die,
Make but the sparse new that remain,
Which none but proud fortune can buy,
While nothing the poor can retain.


We want on the wasting old Road,
To wake dusty travel once more,
To people each wayside abode,
And drive business up to each door.

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Albery Allson Whitman