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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Louise Betts Edwards

The Highway

THE HIGHWAY lies all bare and brown,

A naked line across the down

Worn by a hundred hurrying feet,

The tide of life along it flows,

And busy commerce comes and goes.

Where once the grass grew green and sweet

The world’s fierce pulses beat.

Well for the highway that it lies

The passageway of great emprise!

Yet from its dust what voices cry,—

Voices of soft green growing things

Trampled and torn from earth which clings

Too closely, unperceiving why

Its darling bairns must die.


My heart’s a highway, trodden down

By many a traveler of renown,—

Grave Thought and burden-bearing Deeds.

And strong Achievement’s envoy fares,

With laughing Joys and crowding Cares,

Along the road that worldward leads—

Once rank with foolish weeds.

Glad is my heart to hear them pass,

Yet sometimes breathes a low “Alas!”

The tender springing things that grew—

The nursling hopes their feet destroyed,

Sweet ignorant dreams that youth enjoyed

That blossomed there the long year through—

Would I could have them too!