The Wild Briar
by Arlo Bates
The wild-briar dabbles his finger-tips
In the wine till they are red ;
Then over the hedge he climbs and slips,
And kisses the wild rose on the lips
Till blushing she bows her head.
The wild-briar clambers from spray to spray,
For an ardent wooer he ;
But once he has won, he hastes away,
Nor tears nor prayers avail to stay
His fickle fancy free.
The wild-briar riots the thicket through,
Like a wanton, lusty faun ;
He strings for the cedar berries blue.
He vows to the alder homage true,
He sighs to woo the dawn !
For the fire of love and the fire of youth
Fill his veins with zest divine ;
Till winter has seized him without ruth,
And thickets are bare ; oh, then, in sooth,
He longs for spring’s glad wine !