A mossy footfall in this wood
A peal of thunder were,
Or autumn tempest-shriek, compared
With the unwhispered stir
Of massy fluids lift in air,
To build these leafy pillars fair.
Lavished at wordless wish or mute
Command, the chemic wealth
Upsprings to meet the builders' hands,
All hushed as dusky stealth.
Noiseless as love, as silent prayer
Mysterious, the builders are.
Ah, sure, these silences are works
Of God's sabbatic rest,
A music perfect as the calm
Of wave's unbroken crest!
These woven leaves that stilly nod,
These violets, ope their eyes on God.
The deep serene that worketh here
Works, too, 'mid human tears;
A thousand years as one day is,
One day a thousand years.
Fell death still thunders at his task,
But death the peace of God doth mask.