The Creed Of The Wood
A WHIFF of forest scent,
Balsam and fern,
Won from dreary mood
My heart's return,
From its discontent,
To the sweet, wise wood
And the laughing day.
Simple as dew and gleam
Is the creed of the wood!
The Beautiful gave us life,
And life is good.
Be the world but a dream,
Let the world go shod
With peace, not strife,
For the Dreamer is God.
In A Northern Wood
FRAGRANT are the cedar-boughs stretching green and level,
Feasting-halls where waxwings flit at their spicy revel,
But O the pine, the questing pine, that flings its arms on high
To search the secret of the sun and escalade the sky!
Rueful hemlocks, gaunt and old, with boughs a-droop, despairing,
Clutch for touch of mother-earth; the while the pine is daring
To rock the stars amid its cones and lull them with its croon,
And snare the silver eagle that is nested in the moon.
SUMMER fervors slacken;
Sumac torches dim;
There's bronze upon the bracken;
September has a whim
For carmine, pearl and amber
Touches on her green;
Busy squirrels clamber;
Restless birds convene.
Where Indian pipe still blanches,
Where hoary lichen flakes
Forest trunks and branches,
The golden foxglove makes
A mimic wood that tosses
Warning to the trees,
Then droops upon the mosses,
Heavy with bloom and bees.
What rumbelow of revel
Deep in those honey-jars!
A saffron moth, with level
And languid motion, stars
The air until he settles
At the last pink-clover inn,
Ignoring prouder petals
That would his favor win.
Among those wildwood vagrants
I strolled, alone no more.
Was it the sweet-fern fragrance
That stirred a long-sealed door
Of Time's enchanted tower?
A little maid ran free
And for one sunny hour
My childhood played with me.
The Red Cross Nurse
ONE summer day, gleaming in memory,
We drove, my Joy and I,
Through fragrant hawthorn lanes
Gold-fringed with wisps of rye
Brushed off the harvest wains,
From that old, gladsome town of Shrewsbury,
Throned on twin hills and girdled by a loop
Of the brown Severn, out to Battlefield.
Henry the Fourth with his usurping sword
Smote here the haughty Percies,
And after builded here, as due to Him
Who made rebellion stoop
And lesser traitors to chief traitor yield,
A church. Decayed, restored,
Its centuries afford.
To stranger eyes, enshadowed by the view
Of that ridged burial plain from which it grew,
No sight more sacred than a crude
Image of visage dim,
Hewn by some ancient tool from forest wood,
Our Lady of the Mercies.
Even so long ago amid the slaughter,
Hushed now beneath its coverlet of flowers,
Groped this imperfect dream
Of Pity, pure, divine.
Madonna, look to-day upon thy daughter
And know her by the crimson cross, the sign
Of love that shall at last, at last redeem
This war-torn world of ours