The Wood Thrush

A poem by Madison Julius Cawein

Bird, with the voice of gold,
Dropping wild bar on bar,
To which the flowers unfold,
Star upon gleaming star,
Here in the forest old:

Bird, with the note as clear,
Cool as a bead of dew,
To which the buds, that hear,
Open deep eyes of blue,
Prick up a rosy ear:

Shut in your house of leaves,
Bubbles of song you blow,
Showered whence none perceives,
Taking the wood below
Till its green bosom heaves.

Music of necromance,
Circles of silvering sound,
Wherein the fairies dance,
Weaving an elfin round,
Till the whole wood's a-trance.

Till, with the soul, one hears
Footsteps of mythic things:
Fauns, with their pointed ears,
Piping to haunted springs,
And the white nymph that nears.

Dryads, that rustle from
Trunks of unclosing trees,
Glimmering shapes that come
Clothed on with bloom and breeze,
Stealthily venturesome.

Spirits of light and air,
Bodied of dawn and dusk,
Peeping from blossoms there,
Windows of dew and musk,
Starry with firefly hair.

Moth-winged and bee-like forms,
Rippling with flower-tints,
Waving their irised arms,
Weaving of twilight glints
Wonders and wildwood charms.

Myths of the falling foam,
Tossing their hair of spray,
Driving the minnows home,
Shepherding them the way,
Safe from the water-gnome.

Or from the streaming stone
Drawing with liquid strokes
Many a crystal tone,
Music their joy evokes,
Filling the forest lone.

Art thou a voice or bird,
Lost in the world of trees?
Or but a dream that's heard
Telling of mysteries,
Saying an unknown word?

Art thou a sprite? or sound
Blown on a flute of fays?
Going thy wildwood round,
Haunting the woodland ways,
Making them holy ground.

Art thou a dream that Spring
Utters? a hope, her soul
Voices? whose pulses sing
On to some fairer goal,
Wild as a heart or wing.

Art thou the gold and green
Voice of the ancient wood?
Syllabling soft, between
Silence and solitude,
All that it dreams unseen...

Bird, like a wisp, a gleam,
Lo! you have led me far
Would I were what you seem,
Or what you really are,
Bird with the voice of dream!

Reader Comments

Tell us what you think of 'The Wood Thrush' by Madison Julius Cawein

comments powered by Disqus

Home | Search | About this website | Contact | Privacy Policy