C. S. Lewis: The Roads

The Lewis Legacy-Issue 82, Autumn 1999 The C.S. Lewis Foundation for Truth in Publishing

I stand on the windy uplands among the hills of Down
With all the world spread out beneath,
meadow and sea and town,
And ploughlands on the far-off hills
that glow with friendly brown.

And ever across the rolling land
to the far horizon line,
Where the blue hills border the misty west,
I see the white roads twine,
The rare roads and the fair roads
that call this heart of mine.

I see them dip in the valleys
and vanish and rise and bend
From shadowy dell to windswept fell,
and still to the West they wend,
And over the cold blue ridge at last
to the great world’s uttermost end.

And the call of the roads is upon me,
a desire in my spirit has grown
To wander forth in the highways, ‘
twixt earth and sky alone,
And seek for the lands no foot has trod
and the seas no sail has known:

For the lands to the west of the evening
and east of the morning’s birth,
Where the gods unseen in their valleys green
are glad at the ends of the earth
And fear no morrow to bring them sorrow,
nor night to quench their mirth.