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Madison Julius Cawein



Under the boughs of spring
She swung in the old rope-swing.

Her cheeks, with their happy blood,
Were pink as the apple-bud.

Her eyes, with their deep delight,
Were glad as the stars of night.

Her curls, with their romp and fun,
Were hoiden as wind and sun.

Her lips, with their laughter shrill,
Were wild as a woodland rill.

Under the boughs of spring
She swung in the old rope-swing.

And I,--who leaned on the fence,
Watching her innocence,

As, under the boughs that bent,
Now high, now low, she went,

In her soul the ecstasies
Of the stars, the brooks, the breeze,--

Had given the rest of my years,
With their blessings, and hopes, and fears,

To have been as she was then;
And, just for a moment, again

A boy in the old rope-swing
Under the boughs of spring.

This poem is in the public domain.


Madison Julius Cawein (1865 - 1914) was a poet from Louisville, Kentucky, who loved to write about nature. Sometimes referred to as "the Keats of Kentucky," Madison published more than thirty books of his own work and translated numerous others written by German poets. While nature was his favorite theme--his wonderfully detailed poems about his native state's flora and fauna have been called a "veritable nature guide to the Kentucky woodlands"--Madison also wrote about a broad range of other subjects, ranging from vampires to fairies. Critically popular, internationally acclaimed, and frequently published in contemporary magazines of his day, Madison was rendered almost destitute by the stock market crash in 1912 and was forced to sell his home and much of his library collection to survive.

Post New Comment:
A fun and sweet poem! Thank you, Jayne!
Posted 05/04/2024 05:07 PM
Poems like this make me happy! Such descriptive figures of speech!
Posted 05/04/2024 12:22 AM
michael escoubas:
Wonderful craftsmanship . . . little wonder that Cawein was labeled the "Keats of Kentucky." Impeccable rhyming.
Posted 05/03/2024 09:18 AM
Wilda Morris:
A lovely nostalgic poem!
Posted 05/03/2024 09:06 AM
Larry Schug:
I think this poem grows stronger from start to finish, On a side note, wouldn't it be nice to have one of your poems published more than a hundred years after you've died. Madison, you are re-born for a day!
Posted 05/03/2024 07:44 AM

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