As In The Woodland I Walk

A poem by Richard Le Gallienne

As in the woodland I walk, many a strange thing I learn -
How from the dross and the drift the beautiful things return,
And the fires quenched in October in April reburn;

How foulness grows fair with the stern lustration of sleets and snows,
And rottenness changes back to the breath and the cheek of the rose,
And how gentle the wind that seems wild to each blossom that blows;

How the lost is ever found, and the darkness the door of the light,
And how soft the caress of the hand that to shape must not fear to smite,
And how the dim pearl of the moon is drawn from the gulf of the night;

How, when the great tree falls, with its empire of rustling leaves,
The earth with a thousand hands its sunlit ruin receives,
And out of the wreck of its glory each secret artist weaves

Splendours anew and arabesques and tints on his swaying loom,
Soft as the eyes of April, and black as the brows of doom,
And the fires give back in blue-eyed flowers the woodland they consume;

How when the streams run dry, the thunder calls on the hills,
And the clouds spout silver showers in the laps of the little rills,
And each spring brims with the morning star, and each thirsty fountain fills;

And how, when the songs seemed ended, and all the music mute,
There is always somewhere a secret tune, some string of a hidden lute,
Lonely and undismayed that has faith in the flower and the fruit.

So I learn in the woods - that all things come again,
That sorrow turns to joy, and that laughter is born of pain,
That the burning gold of June is the gray of December's rain.

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