“Can’t you think up a verse to put underneath?” he asked.
Then underneath he lettered:
Two lovers of the Sun and of the Moon,
Lovers of Tree and Grass and Bug and Bird,
Spent here the Summer days, then all too soon
Upon the homeward track reluctant fared.
Sun-up, October 1, 1908._
Some apples remained over from our larder. We carefully laid them outside for the squirrels; then, slinging our knapsacks, we took a last look round the little place, and locked the door.
Our way lay up the hill, across the pasture and through the beeches, toward the sky-line.
We stood still a moment, gazing at the well-loved landscape. Then we turned and breasted the hill.
“Allons!” cried Colin.
“Allons!” I answered. “Allons! To New York!”
THE AMERICAN BLUEBIRD AND ITS SONG
I wish I could convey the singular feeling of freedom and adventure that possessed us as Colin and I grasped our sticks and struck up the green hill—for New York. It was a feeling of exhilaration and romantic expectancy, blent with an absurd sense of our being entirely on our own resources, vagrants shifting for ourselves, independent of civilization; which, of course, the actual circumstances in no way warranted. A delightful boyish illusion of entering on untrodden paths and facing unknown dangers thrilled through us.
“Well, we’re off!” we said simultaneously, smiling interrogatively at each other.
“Yes! we’re in for it.”
So men start out manfully for the North Pole.
Our little enterprise gave us an imaginative realization of the solidarity, the interdependence, of the world; and we saw, as in a vision, its four corners knit together by a vast network of paths connecting one with the other; footpaths, byways, cart-tracks, bride-paths, lovers’ lanes, highroads, all sensitively linked in one vast nervous system of human communication. This field whose green sod we were treading connected with another field, that with another, and that again with another—all the way to New York—all the way to Cape Horn! No break anywhere. All we had to do was to go on putting one foot before the other, and we could arrive anywhere. So the worn old phrase, “All roads lead to Rome,” lit up with a new meaning, the meaning that had originally made it. Yes! the loneliest of lovers’ lanes, all silence and wild flowers, was on the way to the Metropolitan Opera House; or, vice versa, the Flat Iron Building was on the way to the depths of the forest.
“Suppose we stop here, Colin,” I said, pointing to a solitary, forgotten-looking little farmhouse, surrounded by giant wind-worn poplars that looked older than America, “and ask the way to Versailles?”
“And I shouldn’t be surprised,” answered Colin, “if we struck some bright little American schoolgirl who could tell us.”