The Wood Brook

A poem by Madison Julius Cawein

Like some wild child that laughs and weeps,
Impatient of its mother's arms,
The wood brook from the hillside leaps,
Eager to reach the neighboring farms:
Complaining crystal in its throat
It whimpers a protesting note.

The wildflowers that the forest weaves
To deck it with are thrust aside;
And all the little happy leaves,
That would detain it, are denied:
It must be gone; it does not care;
Away, away, no matter where.

Ah, if it knew what work awaits
Beyond the woodland's peaceful breast!
What toil and soil of man's estates!
What contact with life's sorriest,
A different mind it then might keep,
And hush its frenzy into sleep.

Make of its trouble there a pool,
A dim circumference filled with sky
And trees, wherein the beautiful
Contemplates silence with a sigh,
As mind communicates with mind
Of intimate things they have in kind.

Encircled of the wood's repose,
Contentment then to it would give
The peace of lily and of rose,
And love of all wild things that live;
And let it serve as looking-glass
For myths and dreams the wildwood has.

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