In The Winter Woods
By Frederick George Scott
Winter forests mutely standing
Naked on your bed of snow,
Wide your knotted arms expanding
To the biting winds that blow,
Nought ye heed of storm or stress,
Stubborn, silent, passionless.
Buried is each woodland treasure,
Gone the leaves and mossy rills,
Gone the birds that filled with pleasure
All the valleys and the hills;
Ye alone of all that host
Stand like soldiers at your post.
Grand old trees, the words ye mutter,
Nodding in the frosty wind,
Wake some thoughts I cannot utter,
But which haunt the heart and mind,
With a meaning, strange and deep,
As of visions seen in sleep.
Something in my inmost thinking
Tells me I am one with you,
For a subtle bond is linking
Nature's offspring through and through,
And your spirit like a flood
Stirs the pulses of my blood.
While I linger here and listen
To the crackling boughs above,
Hung with icicles that glisten
As if kindling into love,
Human heart and soul unite
With your majesty and might.
Horizontal, rich with glory,
Through the boughs the red sun's rays
Clothe you as some grand life-story
Robes an aged man with praise,
When, before his setting sun,
Men recount what he has done.
But the light is swiftly fading,
And the wind is icy cold,
And a mist the moon is shading,
Pallid in the western gold;
In the night-winds still ye nod,
Sentinels of Nature's God.
Now with laggard steps returning
To the world from whence I came,
Leave I all the great West burning
With the day that died in flame, .
And the stars, with silver ray,
Light me on my homeward way.
Quickie -- we've had various friends and neighbors visiting today (kittens make me popular, plus we know an unfortunate number of people facing major health crises). My major accomplishment for this day of yet more unseasonably warm weather was getting the bulk of the holiday cards/packages mailed, requiring far more time in the post office than I want to remember! Between visiting with neighbors, I had the awesome experience of watching Madonna's Evita while eating Ample Hills Creamery's Star Wars ice cream, sent as a birthday present by my sister. Here are some photos from Longwood Gardens outdoors earlier this month: