Riolama

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Riolama

by William Alexander Percy
Southern Cultures, Vol. 14, No. 1: Spring 2008

"There is a land beyond the lands you know . . ."

(After reading Hudson’s “Green Mansions”)
There is a land beyond the lands you know,
Circled by silver veils of woven rainAnd green,
clear sunsets with the moon in tow
And woods and dark savannahs of wild grain.

I have not wandered in the forests there,
I have not watched its willowed waters flow,
I have not breathed its leafy, upland air,
And yet, and yet, it is the land I know.

Its people’s speech that my heart echoes so
To you were wild birds singing in their vine,
And other dreams and other loves they know,
But all their dreams and all their loves are mine.

They are my people! I am lost with you
And only guess the ways that I should go;
Forever homesick, baffled, yearning to
My native land that I shall never know.