Wilbert Snow’s next poem relates railroad travels of a native Mainer who reflects on his melancholy return to life-changes in New England.
His wanderings in Western states were wide;
He knew the velvet greens of Oregon,
The deep rich blues of Crater and Tahoe,
The splendor of the Rocky Mountain peaks,
The sun=burned Arizona mesas stretched
In far-flung, weird, fantastic pageantry;
The fragrance of the desert sage at dawn,
The blood red sunsets on the Great Salt Lake, —
He knew and loved them all. And yet the soil,
The harsh New England soil was calling him,
And would not give him peace till he resolved
To write the old folks he was coming back.
A dreary week across the continent,
With sooty cars, and jangling engine shrieks,
Monotony of corn fields and delays,
Then for glad miles between him and his home.
October’s wine-like air caressed his cheek,
Wine-colored leaves clung to the maple trees,
And out across the east the sun came up
Turning to wine the pearl-gray wastes of sea.
On his return, the wanderer recalls childhood scenes, his mother’s house that was “now as empty as his empty heart.” After recounting his past, he found some solace of the “far-off music of the sea.” While implied his parents are absent if not dead, he told “the old folks of the West.”