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Forest Poems

Table of Contents

Forest Poems
Three Beeches
by Paul Ranson
  1. King Forest by Ruby Archer
  2. The Forest by Annette Wynne
  3. The Comfort of the Woods by Amos Russel Wells
  4. New England Woods by Amos Russel Wells
  5. Wintergreen by Amos Russel Wells
  6. Forest Music by Hannah Flagg Gould
  7. The Creed of the Wood by Katharine Lee Bates
  8. In a Northern Wood by Katharine Lee Bates
  9. Autumn Woods by William Cullen Bryant
  10. The God of the Wood by Bliss Carman
  11. Woodland Rain by Bliss Carman
  12. Who robbed the woods by Emily Dickinson
  13. Forest Song by William Henry Venable
  14. Forest Hymn by William Cullen Bryant
  15. The Heart O' The Woods by John Burroughs
  16. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost
  17. Woods in Winter by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  18. The Fir Woods by Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts
  19. An August Wood Road by Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts
  20. The Clearing by Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts
  21. The Oak-Wood by Nicolaus Lenau
  22. In the Forest by Oscar Wilde
  23. Frost on a Window by Grace Hazard Conkling
  24. Maine Woods by Rachel Pomeroy
  25. The Woods in May by Ellwood Roberts
  26. Winter Woods by Eleanor Hammond
  27. Grey Woods by Alice Corbin
  28. Sanctuary by Douglas Malloch
  29. Peace by Georgia Douglas Johnson
  30. The Forest Morn by Douglas Malloch
  31. The Forest on the Shore by Douglas Malloch
  32. The Forest Fire by Douglas Malloch
  33. The Lumberjack by Douglas Malloch
  34. "The Mill in the Forest" by Douglas Malloch

Poems About the Forest

This is the forest primeval. The murmuring pines and the hemlocks,
Bearded with moss, and in garments green, indistinct in the twilight,
Stand like Druids of old, with voices sad and prophetic,
Stand like harpers hoar, with beards that rest on their bosoms.

– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Evangeline
  1. King Forest

    by Ruby Archer

    King Forest is throned upon shadows,
    His locks are wide-blown by the wind,
    All fairies proclaim his dominion,—
    His rule in no law is defined.

    His words are the birds and the runlets,
    His bed is the dream-woven sod;
    How gladly we honor his scepter,
    And bow to his blossomy rod!

    And would you be one of his kingdom?
    Cringe never, nor humble your knees.
    But come with your lips tuned to singing,
    And love in your heart for the trees.

    To feel is the price of his favor—
    How easy to fill his behest!
    The tribute of courtier is silence,
    The service of minion is—rest.

  2. The Forest

    by Annette Wynne

    The forest is the town of trees
    Where they live quite at their ease,
    With their neighbors at their side
    Just as we in cities wide.

  3. The Comfort of the Woods

    by Amos Russel Wells

    I understand my comrades of the woods,
    And they know me completely. Not an oak
    But is my brother, strong, reserved, sincere.
    Along the happy, peaceful forest ways
    That wind so intimately through the trees
    I hold a calm communion with my friends,
    The pines and gentle birches. Day by day
    Insensibly the bond is closer drawn
    With beckonings of branches, waftitures
    Of subtle fragrance, melodies of birds,
    Flickers of sunlight on the level leaves,
    A thousand sweet enchantments pure and good.

    This air dissolves my fretfulness and fears;
    They fall into the green depths of the dell,
    The cheery brooklet carries them away,
    The bushes brush them off. I enter here
    With furrowed brow and heavy-burdened heart;
    But little unseen hands are softly pressed
    Upon the frowns, and little unseen hands
    Tug at the burdens till they all are gone.
    Ah, what am I that these my friends
    Should minister to me so graciously?
    Do they not know my follies and my sin?
    Yet with a mother's blind, forgiving love
    They cleanse the foulnesses they will not see.
    Nor do they only wait for me to come,
    Withdrawn, expectant; but amid the din
    Of cities, and upon the crowded streets,
    I feel the brick and mortar fade away,
    Aud find the woods around me once again,
    Tall, shadowy, protecting, Once again
    I hear the woodland murmurs like a hymn,
    And on my troubled spirit lies once more
    The peaceful benediction of the trees.

  4. New England Woods

    by Amos Russel Wells

    New England woods are fair of face,
    And warm with tender, homely grace,
    Not vast with tropic mystery,
    Nor scant with arctic poverty,
    But fragrant with familiar balm,
    And happy in a household calm.

    And such O land of shining star
    Hitched to a cart! thy poets are,
    So wonted to the common ways
    Of level nights and busy days,
    Yet painting hackneyed toll and ease
    With glories of the Pleiades.

    For Bryant is an aged oak,
    Beloved of Time, and sober folk;
    And Whittler, a hickory,
    The workman's and the children's tree;
    And Lowell is a maple decked
    With autumn splendor circumspect.

    Clear Longfellow's an elm benign,
    With fluent grace in every line
    And Holmes, the cheerful birch intent;
    On frankest, whitest merriment
    While Emerson's high councils rise;
    A pine, communing with the skies.

  5. Wintergreen

    by Amos Russel Wells

    New England woods are softly fair,
    And many marvels gather there—
    The flaming hush the soaring pine,
    The shining birch, the swinging vine;
    But lord of all the varied scene
    I rank the lowly wintergreen.

    Its glossy little leaves are found
    Close creeping on the humble ground,
    But all the sweetness of the wood,
    Its fragrant quaintness firm and good,
    Its charms that dazzle and enchant,
    Are centred in the modest plant.

    Those thick and lustrous leaves contain
    The essence of this dear domain,
    Its flavor, kindly, pungent, keen,
    The homely taste of wintergreen,
    Its flower a Puritanic white,
    Its berry scarlet for delight.

    How sturdily it lifts its head
    And shows its glowing green and red!
    How through the winter cold and hare
    It still is fragrant, fresh, and fair,
    And, like its own New England, knows
    A grace that shines in deepest snows!

  6. Forest Music

    by Hannah Flagg Gould

    There's a sad loneliness about my heart,—
    A deep, deep solitude the spirit feels
    Amid this multitude. The things of art
    Pall on the senses—from its pageantry,
    Loathing, my eye turns off; and my ear shrinks
    From the harsh dissonance that fills the air.

    My soul is growing sick—I will away
    And gather balm from a sweet forest walk!
    There, as the breezes through the branches sweep,
    Is heard aerial minstrelsy, like harps
    Untouched, unseen, that on the spirit's ear
    Pour out their numbers till they lull to peace
    The tumult of the bosom. There's a voice
    Of music in the rustling of the leaves;
    And the green boughs are hung with living lutes,
    Whose strings will only vibrate to his hand
    Who made them, while they sound his untaught praise!

    The whole wild wood is one vast instrument
    Of thousand, thousand keys; and all its notes
    Come in sweet harmony, while Nature plays
    To celebrate the presence of her God!

  7. The Creed of the Wood

    by Katharine Lee Bates

    A whiff of forest scent,
    Balsam and fern,
    Won from dreary mood
    My heart's return,
    From its discontent,
    Joy's run-away,
    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.

  8. In a Northern Wood

    by Katharine Lee Bates

    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.

  9. Autumn Woods

    by William Cullen Bryant

    Ere, in the northern gale,
    The summer tresses of the trees are gone,
    The woods of Autumn, all around our vale
    Have put their glory on.

    The mountains that infold,
    In their wide sweep, the coloured landscape round.
    Seem groups of giant kings, in purple and gold,
    That guard the enchanted ground.

    I roam the woods that crown
    The upland, where the mingled splendours glow,
    Where the gay company of trees look down
    On the green fields below.

    My steps are not alone
    In these bright walks; the sweet southwest, at play,
    Flies, rustling, where the painted leaves are strewn
    Along the winding way.

    And far in heaven, the while,
    The sun, that sends that gale to wander here,
    Pours out on the fair earth his quiet smile,—
    The sweetest of the year.

    Where now the solemn shade,
    Verdure and gloom where many branches meet;
    So grateful, when the noon of summer made
    The valleys sick with heat?

    Let in through all the trees
    Come the strange rays; the forest depths are bright;
    Their sunny-coloured foliage, in the breeze,
    Twinkles, like beams of light.

    The rivulet, late unseen,
    Where bickering through the shrubs its waters run,
    Shines with the image of its golden screen,
    And glimmerings of the sun.

    But 'neath yon crimson tree,
    Lover to listening maid might breathe his flame,
    Nor mark, within its roseate canopy,
    Her blush of maiden shame.

    Oh, Autumn! why so soon
    Depart the hues that make thy forests glad;
    Thy gentle wind and thy fair sunny noon,
    And leave thee wild and sad!

    Ah! 'twere a lot too blessed
    For ever in thy coloured shades to stray;
    Amid the kisses of the soft southwest
    To rove and dream for aye;

    And leave the vain low strife
    That makes men mad—the tug for wealth and power,
    The passions and the cares that wither life,
    And waste its little hour.

  10. The God of the Wood

    by Bliss Carman

    Here all the forces of the wood
    As one converge,
    To make the soul of solitude
    Where all things merge.

    The sun, the rain-wind, and the rain,
    The visiting moon,
    The hurrying cloud by peak and plain,
    Each with its boon.

    Here power attains perfection still
    In mighty ease,
    That the great earth may have her will
    Of joy and peace.

    And so through me, the mortal born
    Of plasmic clay,
    Immortal powers, kind, fierce, forlorn,
    And glad, have sway.

    Eternal passions, ardors fine,
    And monstrous fears,
    Rule and rebel, serene, malign,
    Or loosed in tears;

    Until at last they shall evolve
    From griefs and joys
    Some steady light, some firm resolve.
    Some Godlike poise.

  11. Woodland Rain

    by Bliss Carman

    Shining, shining children
    Of the summer rain,
    Racing down the valley,
    Sweeping o'er the plain!

    Rushing through the forest,
    Pelting on the leaves,
    Drenching down the meadow
    With its standing sheaves;

    Robed in royal silver,
    Girt with jewels gay,
    With a gust of gladness
    You pass upon your way.

    Fresh, ah, fresh behind you,
    Sunlit and impearled,
    As it was in Eden,
    Lies the lovely world!

  12. Who robbed the woods

    by Emily Dickinson

    Who robbed the woods,
    The trusting woods?
    The unsuspecting trees
    Brought out their burrs and mosses
    His fantasy to please.
    He scanned their trinkets, curious,
    He grasped, he bore away.
    What will the solemn hemlock,
    What will the fir-tree say?

  13. Forest Song

    by William Henry Venable. Read at the first meeting of the American Forestry Congress, in Music Hall, Cincinnati, April 19, 1882.

    A song for the beautiful trees!
    A song for the forest grand,
    The Garden of God's own hand,
    The pride of His centuries.
    Hurrah! for the kingly oak,
    For the maple, the sylvan queen,
    For the lords of the emerald cloak,
    For the ladies in golden green.

    For the beautiful trees a song!
    The peers of a glorious realm,
    The linden, the ash, and the elm,
    The poplar stately and strong,—
    For the birch and the hemlock trim,
    For the hickory staunch at core,
    For the locust thorny and grim,
    For the silvery sycamore.

    A song for the palm,—the pine,
    And for every tree that grows,
    From the desolate zone of snows
    To the zone of the burning line;
    Hurrah! for the warders proud
    Of the mountainside and the vale,
    That challenge the thunder-cloud
    And buffet the stormy gale.

    A song for the forest, aisled,
    With its Gothic roof sublime,
    The solemn temple of Time,
    Where man becometh a child,
    As he listens the anthem-roll
    Of the voiceful winds that call,
    In the solitude of his soul,
    On the name of the All-in-All.

    So long as the rivers flow,
    So long as the mountains rise,
    May the foliage drink of the skies;
    And shelter the flowers below;
    Hurrah! for the beautiful trees!
    Hurrah! for the forest grand,
    The pride of His centuries,
    The Garden of God's own hand.

  14. Forest Hymn

    by William Cullen Bryant

    The groves were God's first temples. Ere man learned
    To hew the shaft, and lay the architrave,
    And spread the roof above them,—ere he framed
    The lofty vault, to gather and roll back
    The sound of anthems; in the darkling wood.
    Amidst the cool and silence, he knelt down
    And offered to the Mightiest, solemn thanks
    And supplication. For his simple heart
    Might not resist the sacred influences,
    Which, from the stilly twilight of the place,
    And from the gray old trunks that high in heaven
    Mingled their mossy boughs, and from the sound
    Of the invisible breath that swayed at once
    All their green tops, stole over him, and bowed
    His spirit with the thought of boundless power
    And inaccessible majesty. Ah, why
    Should we, in the world's riper years, neglect
    God's ancient sanctuaries, and adore
    Only among the crowd, and under roofs
    That our frail hands have raised. Let me, at least,
    Here, in the shadow of this aged wood,
    Offer one hymn—thrice happy, if it find
    Acceptance in his ear.

    Father, thy hand
    Hath reared these venerable columns, thou
    Didst weave this verdant roof. Thou didst look down
    Upon the naked earth, and, forthwith, rose
    All these fair ranks of trees. They, in thy sun,
    Budded, and shook their green leaves in thy breeze,
    And shot towards heaven. The century-living crow,
    Whose birth was in their tops, grew old and died
    Among their branches, till, at last, they stood,
    As now they stand, massy, and tall, and dark,
    Fit shrine for humble worshipper to hold
    Communion with his Maker. These dim vaults,
    These winding aisles, of human pomp or pride
    Report not. No fantastic carvings show,
    The boast of our vain race to change the form
    Of thy fair works. But thou art here—thou fill'st
    The solitude. Thou art in the soft winds,
    That run along the summit of these trees
    In music;—thou art in the cooler breath,
    That from the inmost darkness of the place,
    Comes, scarcely felt;—the barky trunks, the ground,
    The fresh moist ground, are all instinct with thee.
    Here is continual worship;—nature, here,
    In the tranquillity that thou dost love,
    Enjoys thy presence. Noiselessly, around,
    From perch to perch, the solitary bird
    Passes; and yon clear spring, that, 'midst its herbs,
    Wells softly forth and visits the strong roots
    Of half the mighty forest, tells no tale
    Of all the good it does. Thou hast not left
    Thyself without a witness, in these shades,
    Of thy perfections. Grandeur, strength, and grace
    Are here to speak of thee. This mighty oak—
    By whose immoveable stem I stand and seem
    Almost annihilated—not a prince,
    In all that proud old world beyond the deep,
    E'er wore his crown as loftily as he
    Wears the green coronal of leaves with which
    Thy hand has graced him. Nestled at his root
    Is beauty, such as blooms not in the glare
    Of the broad sun. That delicate forest flower
    With scented breath, and look so like a smile,
    Seems, as it issues from the shapeless mould,
    An emanation of the indwelling Life,
    A visible token of the upholding Love,
    That are the soul of this wide universe.

    My heart is awed within me, when I think
    Of the great miracle that still goes on,
    In silence, round me—the perpetual work
    Of thy creation, finished, yet renewed
    For ever. Written on thy works I read
    The lesson of thy own eternity.
    Lo! all grow old and die—but see, again,
    How on the faltering footsteps of decay
    Youth presses—ever gay and beautiful youth
    In all its beautiful forms. These lofty trees
    Wave not less proudly that their ancestors
    Moulder beneath them. Oh, there is not lost
    One of earth's charms: upon her bosom yet,
    After the flight of untold centuries,
    The freshness of her far beginning lies
    And yet shall lie. Life mocks the idle hate
    Of his arch enemy Death—yea, seats himself
    Upon the tyrant's throne—the sepulchre,
    And of the triumphs of his ghastly foe
    Makes his own nourishment. For he came forth
    From thine own bosom, and shall have no end.

    There have been holy men who hid themselves
    Deep in the woody wilderness, and gave
    Their lives to thought and prayer, till they outlived
    The generation born with them, nor seemed
    Less aged than the hoary trees and rocks
    Around them;—and there have been holy men
    Who deemed it were not well to pass life thus.
    But let me often to these solitudes
    Retire, and in thy presence reassure
    My feeble virtue. Here its enemies,
    The passions, at thy plainer footsteps shrink
    And tremble and are still. Oh, God! when thou
    Dost scare the world with tempests, set on fire
    The heavens with falling thunderbolts, or fill,
    With all the waters of the firmament,
    The swift dark whirlwind that uproots the woods
    And drowns the villages; when, at thy call,
    Uprises the great deep and throws himself
    Upon the continent, and overwhelms
    Its cities—who forgets not, at the sight
    Of these tremendous tokens of thy power,
    His pride, and lays his strifes and follies by?
    Oh, from these sterner aspects of thy face
    Spare me and mine, nor let us need the wrath
    Of the mad unchained elements to teach
    Who rules them. Be it ours to meditate
    In these calm shades thy milder majesty,
    And to the beautiful order of thy works
    Learn to conform the order of our lives.

  15. The Heart O' The Woods

    by John Burroughs

    I hear it beat in morning still
    When April skies have lost their gloom,
    And through the woods there runs a thrill
    That wakes arbutus into bloom.

    I hear it throb in sprouting May —
    A muffled murmur on the breeze,
    Like mellow thunder leagues away,
    Or booming voice of distant seas.

    Or when the autumn leaves are shed,
    And frosts attend the fading year,
    Like secret mine sprung by my tread
    A covey bursts from hiding near.

    I feel its pulse 'mid winter snows,
    And feel my own with added force,
    When partridge drops his cautious pose,
    And forward takes his humming course.

    The startled birches shake their curls,
    A withered leaf leaps in the breeze;
    Some hidden mortar speaks, and hurls
    Its feathered missile through the trees.

    Compact of life, of fervent wing,
    A dynamo of feathered power,
    Thy drum is music in the spring,
    Thy flight is music every hour.

  16. The Forest in Winter

  17. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

    by Robert Frost

    Whose woods these are I think I know.
    His house is in the village though;
    He will not see me stopping here
    To watch his woods fill up with snow.

    My little horse must think it queer
    To stop without a farmhouse near
    Between the woods and frozen lake
    The darkest evening of the year.

    He gives his harness bells a shake
    To ask if there is some mistake.
    The only other sound’s the sweep
    Of easy wind and downy flake.

    The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep.

  18. Woods in Winter

    by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

    When winter winds are piercing chill,
    And through the hawthorn blows the gale,
    With solemn feet I tread the hill,
    That overbrows the lonely vale.

    O'er the bare upland, and away
    Through the long reach of desert woods,
    The embracing sunbeams chastely play,
    And gladden these deep solitudes.

    Where, twisted round the barren oak,
    The summer vine in beauty clung,
    And summer winds the stillness broke,
    The crystal icicle is hung.

    Where, from their frozen urns, mute springs
    Pour out the river's gradual tide,
    Shrilly the skater's iron rings,
    And voices fill the woodland side.

    Alas! how changed from the fair scene,
    When birds sang out their mellow lay,
    And winds were soft, and woods were green,
    And the song ceased not with the day!

    But still wild music is abroad,
    Pale, desert woods! within your crowd;
    And gathering winds, in hoarse accord,
    Amid the vocal reeds pipe loud.

    Chill airs and wintry winds! my ear
    Has grown familiar with your song;
    I hear it in the opening year,
    I listen, and it cheers me long.

  19. The Fir Woods

    by Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts

    The wash of endless waves is in their tops,
    Endlessly swaying, and the long winds stream
    Athwart them from the far-off shores of dream.
    Through the stirred branches filtering, faintly drops
    Mystic dream-dust of isle, and palm, and cave,
    Coral and sapphire, realms of rose, that seem
    More radiant than ever earthly gleam
    Revealed of fairy mead or haunted wave.

    A cloud of gold, a cleft of blue profound,—
    These are my gates of wonder, surged about
    By tumult of tossed bough and rocking crest:
    The vision lures. The spirit spurns her bound,
    Spreads her unprisoned wing, and drifts from out
    This green and humming gloom that wraps my rest.

  20. An August Wood Road

    by Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts

    August When the partridge coveys fly
    In the birch-tops cool and high;

    When the dry cicadas twang
    Where the purpling fir-cones hang;

    When the bunch-berries emboss—
    Scarlet beads—the roadside moss;

    Brown with shadows, bright with sun,
    All day long till day is done

    Sleeps in murmuring solitude
    The worn old road that threads the wood.

    In its deep cup—grassy, cool—
    Sleeps the little roadside pool;

    Sleeps the butterfly on the weed,
    Sleeps the drifted thistle-seed.

    Like a great and blazing gem,
    Basks the beetle on the stem.

    Up and down the shining rays
    Dancing midges weave their maze.

    High among the moveless boughs,
    Drunk with day, the night-hawks drowse.

    Far up, unfathomably blue,
    August's heaven vibrates through.

    The old road leads to all things good;
    The year's at full, and time's at flood.

  21. The Clearing

    by Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts

    Stumps, and harsh rocks, and prostrate trunks all charred,
    And gnarled roots naked to the sun and rain,—
    They seem in their grim stillness to complain,
    And be their paint the evening peace is jarred.
    These ragged acres fire and the axe have scarred,
    And many summers not assuaged their pain.
    In vain the pink and saffron light, in vain
    The pale dew on the hillocks stripped and marred!

    But here and there the waste is touched with cheer
    Where spreads the fire-weed like a crimson flood
    And venturous plumes of golden-rod appear;
    And round the blackened fence the great boughs lean
    With comfort; and across the solitude
    The hermit's holy transport peals serene.

  22. The Oak-Wood

    by Nicolaus Lenau

    Beneath the holy oaks I wandered
    Through twilight aisles where, soft and mild,
    I heard a brook, which there meandered,
    Keep lisping like a praying child.

    With tremors sweet my heart did flutter;
    The forest rustled weird and low,
    As if it fain would something utter
    Which yet I had no right to know;

    As if it were about revealing
    The secret of God's thought and will,
    When suddenly, His nearness feeling,
    It seemed affrightened—and grew still.

  23. In the Forest

    by Oscar Wilde

    Out of the mid-wood’s twilight
    Into the meadow’s dawn,
    Ivory limbed and brown-eyed,
    Flashes my Faun!

    He skips through the copses singing,
    And his shadow dances along,
    And I know not which I should follow,
    Shadow or song!

    O Hunter, snare me his shadow!
    O Nightingale, catch me his strain!
    Else moonstruck with music and madness
    I track him in vain!

  24. Frost on a Window

    by Grace Hazard Conkling

    This forest looks the way
    Nightingales sound.
    Tall larches lilt and sway
    Above the glittering ground:
    The wild white cherry spray
    Scatters radiance round.

    The chuckle of the nightingale
    Is like this elfin wood.
    Even as his gleaming trills assail
    The spirit's solitude,
    These leaves of light, these branches frail
    Are music's very mood.

    The song of these fantastic trees,
    The plumes of frost they wear,
    Are for the poet's whim who sees
    Through a deceptive air,
    And has an ear for melodies
    When never a sound is there.

  25. Maine Woods

    by Rachel Pomeroy

    May-flower from over the sea,
    With the bloom still bright on your lips,
    And a hint of odor lingering yet
    In your delicate petal tips;
    Nursling shy of a season wild,
    Nature's first and fairest child.

    You have come so far, so far,
    Tender, beautiful thing,
    Out of the sharp New England woods,
    And a frosty northern spring,
    Yet bringing, methinks, the woodland smell,
    Whose spicy wealth I know so well.

    Your perfume smote on my sense
    Like a delicate, dim complaint;
    Subtle meanings seem to hide
    In the woodland murmurs faint,
    And the city gleaming across the bay
    In smoke and shadow faded away.

    For one amazing hour
    The dull world dies to me,
    Sky, tree-top, sudden bird-note grow
    Life's sole reality,
    And O, to have staid there all alone,
    Afar from tiresome school and town!

    Flower and I were one,
    Earth held us to her heart,
    Her fragrant breath was on our brows—
    But she let her babes depart;
    Stealer and stolen went their ways,
    Yet she loved us both in those old days.

    Yet, O enchanted Mays,
    O woodland odors wild,
    Have you ever missed from then to now
    The happy-hearted child
    That went so blithe through yonder wood,
    Your sun and bloom in her dancing blood?

    Nay, nature spares us well,
    She's our foster-mother at best;
    'Tis never she that needs our love,
    But we that need her rest;
    So she gathers us back to her veins at last,
    And new life comes to repeat the past.

    But, O forests fair, as of old,
    And May-blossoms over the sea,
    O merry children despoiling both,
    You all belong to me—
    For into the past ye slip away,
    And lo, the dead years bloom to-day!

  26. The Woods in May

    by Ellwood Roberts

    There dwells a subtle fragrance
    Within the woods of May,
    That baffles all description,
    Inviting us to stay.
    Aroma of the spring-time.
    Of bursting buds it tells,
    Of wild flowers bright unfolding
    From out their tiny cells.

    The new-born leaves a tender
    And brilliant green display;
    When come the heats of summer,
    It quickly flies away.
    Among the trees we wander,
    With sense of keen delight;
    We may not feel it later,
    Though sunshine be as bright.

    Sweet Nature's resurrection
    From Winter's ice and snow,
    Fills woods of May with beauty
    Beyond all else we know.
    The fragrant honeysuckle,
    And dogwood flowers white,
    Bloom here in all their glory,
    A vision of delight.

    How natural to linger
    Among the woods of May,
    So many wonders are there,
    Inviting us to stay.
    Each bush and tree has treasures
    Of leaf, or bud, or flower;
    No art there is like Nature's,
    When she exerts her power.

    A tender, new-born glory,
    The leaflets all display,
    There dwells a subtle fragrance
    Around our path to-day;
    It bids us pause and linger,
    Ere it be gone for aye.
    What joy and peace and sweetness
    Within the woods of May!

  27. Winter Woods

    by Eleanor Hammond

    The winter wood is like a strong old man,
    Grizzled, rugged, and gray,
    With long white locks tattered by many storms.
    He lifts gnarled arms defiant of the blasts,
    And rears his old head proudly
    Under the menace of the winter sky.

  28. Grey Woods

    by Alice Corbin Henderson

    Silence is heavy and somber in the grey woods,
    The leaves of time drop stealthily one by one;
    Dim twilight comes with a shadowy reaping hook
    To gather the fading daylight and dead leaves.
    Though no winds blow in the grey woods of my heart,
    The leaves of time drop stealthily one by one;
    A shadowy twilight falls over the shadowy woods—
    My body is too frail for its great moods.

  29. Sanctuary

    by Douglas Malloch

    When some one has slipped you the dirk in the dark,
    When eyes that are loving are lies,
    When some one you trusted has made you a mark,
    And somehow the heart in you dies,
    There's dirt for you, hurt for you, trouble enough
    To shatter the faith of a man;
    But don't ever think there is trouble so tough
    That you can't overcome it—you can.

    When living is losing its flavor to you,
    When worry is making you old;
    When there is no joy in the thing that you do
    Nor truth in the thing you are told,
    There's balm for you, calm for you, out in the wild,
    There's hope for you up on the hill.
    Get up in the timber and play like a child;
    You can overcome it—you will.

    Get up in the timber; the trail and the trees
    Will make you a man in a day.
    The smell of the soil and the breath of the breeze
    Will blow all your troubles away.
    There's pine for you, wine for you, hope for you there—
    The sun and the moon and the star—
    If the ways of the city are not on the square,
    Get up in the woods—where they are.

  30. Peace

    by Georgia Douglas Johnson

    I rest me deep within the wood,
    Drawn by its silent call,
    Far from the throbbing crowd of men
    On nature's breast I fall.

    My couch is sweet with blossoms fair,
    A bed of fragrant dreams,
    And soft upon my ear there falls
    The lullaby of streams.

    The tumult of my heart is stilled,
    Within this sheltered spot,
    Deep in the bosom of the wood,
    Forgetting, and—forgot!

  31. The Forest Morn

    by Douglas Malloch

    I sometimes think that thus was born the world—
    Not like a blinding sun from chaos hurled
    To blaze and burn for ages—that it woke
    As wakes the forest, wakes the verdant oak,
    Breathing soft breezes, wreathed in lacy mist
    Through which there burst the gleam of amethyst.

    The forest morn! Across the night profound
    Steals now the music of harmonious sound—
    The bird's faint twitter, sleepy, sleepy still,
    The bird's first carol, sweet, all sweet and shrill;
    And down through branches, poured in generous streams,
    Come tints of dawn, the colors of our dreams.

  32. The Forest on the Shore

    by Douglas Malloch

    O chosen land of liberty,
    I love, of all, the most
    The splendor of thy forest tree
    That waves to him across the sea
    A welcome to thy coast.

    Its spreading branches typify
    The nation's open arms,
    vVhere heavy-laden soul may lie
    And know that no oppressor's cry
    Shall wake it to alarms.

    Its leaves a-tremble sing the song
    A mother croons at eve;
    They sing triumphant over wrong,
    They cheer the lagging feet along
    And soothe the hearts that grieve.

    For this thy emblem, land of mine,
    The forest on the shore—
    Thy singing spruce and giant pine
    And all that grand and regal line
    That lives forevermore.

    And he who comes from overseas
    Shall hear its minstrelsy,
    Shall hear upon the evening breeze
    That rustles through the leafy trees
    The music of the free.

    And he shall feel the holy calm
    These altared shores invoke,
    Behold, 'mid tones of freedom's psalm
    A land as peaceful as the palm,
    Enduring as the oak.

  33. The Forest Fire

    by Douglas Malloch

    At first a spark that slumbered in the leaves;
    And then a tiny blaze that glowed afar—
    A distant blaze that seemed a fallen star,
    A single grain from heaven's silver sheaves.

    The morn a smoke-plume on the hill revealed,
    That marked the first insidious advance.
    The night came down, and found the fiery lance
    Sunk deeper in the mountain's verdant shield.

    Then came long days that melted into night
    And left the sky in lurid color dressed;
    The sun set slowly in the vapored west,
    A copper oval of distorted light.

    The primal blaze threw its increasing line
    Across the mountain's wooded side until
    Re-echoed mournfully from hill to hill
    The thunder of the stricken giant pine.

    Oft skyward blazed a solitary tree,
    A vivid instant dimmed all other fire—
    Like souls of mighty men, when they expire
    Prove greatest, even in adversity.

    And, when the fury of the fiend was spent,
    Burned out the fullness of its torrid wrath,
    It left behind a devastated path—
    To human carelessness a monument.

    O ye who love the richly verdured hill,
    Who wander through the tangled woodland ways;
    O ye who know the worth of summer days
    And love the music of the mountain rill;

    Ye who convert the tree to purpose new,
    To final, destined and most proper use,
    Play ye no part, I pray, in this abuse,
    Have not the burden of the blame on you.

    First learn, yourselves, the best considered plan,
    Then teach the careless what their duties are,
    And never more the running flame shall scar
    These timbered hills, God's generous gift to man.

  34. The Lumberjack

    by Douglas Malloch

    An untamed creature of the forest wilds,
    He lives to that wild place a soul akin—
    A man whose days are often steeped in sin,
    And yet whose heart is tender as a child's.

    His strength is like the strength of mighty pines,
    His outward form a bark of many scars;
    His head he carries proudly in the stars,
    The while his feet are meshed in tangled vines.

    Calamities throw viselike tendrils out
    To seize him in their hindering embrace;
    The thorns of wrong whip sharply in his face
    And poisoned things encompass him about.

    He braves disease, the storm, the falling tree,
    The mad, quick water that would hold and drown;
    But all earth's terrors cannot bear him down
    Or make this man of dangers bend the knee.

    He breathes the air the sturdy maple breathes,
    He walks the soil the selfsame maple feeds;
    To forest sources looks he for his needs—
    Oh, where are trees and men like unto these?

  35. "The Mill in the Forest"

    by Douglas Malloch

    A rendition in words of the musical idyl by Eilenberg.

    While twittering songsters yet announce the morn
    And all the wood is wondrous calm and still,
    Upon the zephyr tremulous is borne
    The waking rumble of the forest mill.

    The great wheel moves; the foaming waters pour
    On waiting sands in crystal melody;
    The saw's high treble and the pulley's roar
    Are mingled in a song of industry.

    Now through the day the busy millwheel turns;
    And through the day the saw untiring sings,
    Nor rests till red and gold the sunset burns
    And blaze and gilt on all the landscape flings.

    But, as the orb of day slips down the west,
    The waters turn to other ways more still;
    The weary wheel at last subsides to rest
    And peace comes down upon the silent mill.

    A yellow moon arises o'er the trees,
    The little stars, with eyes half-timid, peep;
    Night brings her black and somber tapestries
    And wraps the forest and the mill in sleep.