Hilda Conkling


Tree-toad is a small gray person

With a silver voice.

Tree-toad is a leaf-gray shadow

That sings.

Tree-toad is never seen

Unless a star squeezes through the leaves,

Or a moth looks sharply at a gray branch.

How would it be, I wonder,

To sing patiently all night,

Never thinking that people are asleep?

Raindrops and mist, starriness over the trees,

The moon, the dew, the other little singers,

Cricket . . . toad . . . leaf rustling . . .

They would listen:

It would be music like weather

That gets into all the corners

Of out-of-doors.

Every night I see little shadows

I never saw before.

Every night I hear little voices

I never heard before.

When night comes trailing her starry cloak,

I start out for slumberland,

With tree-toads calling along the roadside.

Good-night, I say to one, Good-by, I say to another:

I hope to find you on the way

We have traveled before!

I hope to hear you singing on the Road of Dreams!