The Wood By The Sea

I DWELL in the wood that is dark and kind
But afar off tolls the main,
Afar, far off I hear the wind,
And the roving of the rain.

The shade is dark as a palmer's hood,
The air with balm is bland:
But I wish the trees that breathe in the wood
Were ashes in God's hand.

The pines are weary of holding nests,
Are aweary of casting shade;
Wearily smoulder the resin crests
In the pungent gloom of the glade.

Weary are all the birds of sleep,
The nests are weary of wings,
The whole wood yearns to the swaying deep,
The mother of restful things.

The wood is very old and still,
So still when the dead cones fall,
Near in the vale or away on the hill,
You can hear them one and all.

And their falling wearies me;
If mine were the will of God,–oh, then
The wood should tramp to the sounding sea,
Like a marching army of men!

But I dwell in the wood that is dark and kind,
Afar off tolls the main;
Afar, far off I hear the wind
And the roving of the rain.

by Duncan Campbell Scott

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