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The Magpie Sings the Great Depression:
Selections from DeWitt Clinton High School's Literary Magazine, 1929-1942

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A Traveler of the Road

By Martin Seifert, '39

The Magpie, June 1938, v. 22, n. 2., p. 38.

Winding Road, in thy rocky valley I crawl
Engulfed by mountains on either side;
Always mountains, mountains, mountains,
  as far as I can see,
And then a sudden turn ahead,
Perhaps beyond the lee
A rift in the mountain thread.
A glance, a peek into the Forbidden Land
But nay, always mountains, mountains, mountains on either hand.
"Oh Lord, allow me a single sight, a touch of Paradise."
  I remove my clothes, stuff them with hay, and pretend it sleeps.
  (I'll fool the Guardian of the Mountain in the waning light)
  Perhaps I'll climb to the mountain top tonight.
  Mayhap, I'll leave the Tortuous Road,
  And get my fill of Angel's sights.
  But stay, my friend, a rock, a ledge, a hold I cannot find.
  It seems as if the mountain cannot thus be climbed.
I am a follower of the Road
I am a Scientist—seeking theorems on hidden by-paths.
I am a Worker—abjectly crawling, licking my salt from the serpent's door.
I am a Dreamer—I rise the highest from the valley floor.
I—am a Man!—going where it pleaseth me to ramble,
Lured by every nook and cranny,
Stumbling much on thorny brambles.
  And I wander on—
  Hungry, Contented, Scientist, Worker, Dreamer, Man.
  I come to the snows, covering the filth with their blanket of downy white-
  To the storms—washing away those things rotten at the core.
  To the sea—seductive maiden, ever enticing me from the arms of the soft
    warm earth
  To a bridge—houses receding from the banks
  Each with a hundred lights
  Each of these a complex stage in miniature with the same fundamental
  Each a little planet with its miserable cargo of life
  Each with its own unblinking destiny
  As I have mine——

The Magpie Sings the Great Depression

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