Once through an autumn wood
I roamed in tearful mood,
By grief dismayed, doubting, and ill at ease;
When from a leafless oak,
Methought low murmurs broke,
Complaining accents, as of words like these:
"Incline thy mighty ear
Great Mother Earth, and hear
How I, thy child, am sorely vexed and tossed;
No one to heed my moan,
I shudder here, alone
With my destroyers, wind and snow, and frost.
Then low and unaware
This answer cleaved the air,
This tender answer, "Doubting one be still;
Oh trust to me, and know
The wind, the frost, the snow,
Are but my servants sent to do my will.
"For the destroyer frost,
His labor is not lost,
Rid thee he shall of many noisome things;
And thou shalt praise the snow
When drinking far below
Refreshment sweet from overflowing springs.
"My child thou'rt not alone,
I love thee, hear thy moan,
But winds that fret thee only causeth thee
To more securely stand,
More firmly clasp my hand,
And soaring upward, closer cling to me."
Then from my burdened heart
The shadows did depart,
Then said I softly - "winds of sorrow blow
So I but closer cling
To thee, my Lord, my King,
Who loves me, even me, so weak and low."