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Seeing the World

From The Times Dispatch, March 17, 1914. By Thomas Lomax Hunter.

“Come and go a-journeying and see the world,” you cry,
    “Sixty miles an hour on a flying Pullman whirled.
See the great strange cities and their peoples as we fly.
    Would you stay forever here and never see the world?”

Come with me a-walking on the path beside the brook;
    There are many wonders there if you will pause to see;
Elfin things and faery, if you will stop to look.
    If you would really see the world, come and walk with me.

Breathe the tonic odor of the darkling piney woods.
    Search beneath the needles where the first arbutus blows.
Come on Pan a-brooding in his earliest vernal mood,
    Hidden in the rushes where the frolic streamlet flows.

Come, and I will show you where the merry chipmunks dwell;
    Where the timid wood-birds build that do not flock with man;
And where the hermit woodchuck has dug his secret cell,
    And all the shy Arcadians who hear the pipes of Pan.

“Come,” you cry, “and see the world across the Seven Seas,
    The pyramids and Palestine and ancient Greece and Rome.”
But why should I go seeking those when I have ever these
    Enchantments and adventures within a mile of home?

Here I only have to wait, the seasons come to me;
    Flying each its colors and bugled by its birds.
What is there more wonderful or fair across the sea
    That I should go a-hurrying with the harried tourist herds?

While you have fled a thousand miles in a touring car,
    I have just been tramping through the hills and meadows near.
You have seen the wonders of a fleeting world and far,
    But I have been a-walking and seen my world right here.

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