Farewell and Hail

Wave you Farewell! O woods,
That slope down with the hill to this drear pool.
Farewell, bronze legionaries,
You beechen giants bucklered with green boughs
Against those shafts the skies
Fling at your heart, and rays from sunny eyes
Searching your ridged flexures dusky-cool.
Wave you Farewell! as the foiled faint wind soughs
Withdrawn or slow withdrawing through your boughs.

And you, Farewell! mild mother-elms who sway
Less with the winds than weight of destined cares.
The trumpets of the masculine North wind,
The cymbals of the West at stormy play,
The fifes shrilled from the East,
The honeyed mouth
Breathing new sweetness from the South —
Their rising musics, waning airs,
Trouble your bosom of all troubles least.
It is man's strife, man's love, man's grief, man's hate,
At odds with unstarred Fate,
That in your heaving swells, upmounts, subsides
And then anon returns like ocean's tides,
Until Farewell! is lamped
By the Moon passing where passed Moons are camped.

You too Farewell! O ships that sail the sphere
And sleep unheeded by mossed forest rides,
Oak-trees, oak-ships where Time himself has sailed
The waves — each wave a long slow soothless year,
A century a day,
Farewell! A low lance slides
Beneath your ribs, the sun's last spear has failed.

And crook-back ash, Farewell!
Your fingers clutch in vain the sunless cloud,
They claw the blue in vain,
Lean hungry ash, storm-rocking but unbowed,
Unloved, and shaped in pain,
Unlovely, save to those that love you well,
That love, as lovers must, too well —
Loved ash, Farewell!

Trees, honoured Gods and Goddesses of earth,
I am your birth,
You are of me, of me: —
So into the sea
Far rivers fall, then briny tides confuse
Cold spring and ocean, salt flood with rains and dews.
Into what limbs of you my blood has poured,
Into my senses dreams of yours have passed,
Too loved to be adored,
And yet, Divine ones, for brief love too vast.
— I turn from you, O trees,
Farewell! Farewell!

But thou, dark Yew,
Ancient and undecayed, though ruddy creepers
Drape the sick hedge with fire or fiery dew,
Dark Yew,
With bosom drooping over mounded sleepers,
And scarlet cressets lighting solemn plumes
And dense funereal glooms,
Dark Yew,
Root-fast in the eternity of spirit
And all man's soul may of earth's dark inherit,
Dark Yew,
Hail! not farewell, Hail! not farewell,
Never farewell.
Rate this poem: 

Reviews

No reviews yet.