Skip to main content

Posted by Poetry Alley

I sought the wood in summer
When every twig was green;
The rudest boughs were tender,
And buds were pink between.
Light-fingered aspens trembled
In fitful sun and shade,
And daffodils were golden
In every starry glade.
The brook sang like a robin—
My hand could check him where
The lissome maiden willows
Shook out their yellow hair.

“How frail a thing is Beauty,”
I said, “when every breath
She gives the vagrant summer
But swifter woos her death.
For this the star dust troubles,
For this have ages rolled:
To deck the wood for bridal
And slay her with the cold.”

I sought the wood in winter
When every leaf was dead;
Behind the wind-whipped branches
The winter sun set red.
The coldest star was rising
To greet that bitter air,
The oaks were writhen giants;
Nor bud nor bloom was there.
The birches, white and slender,
In deathless marble stood,
The brook, a white immortal,
Slept silent in the wood.

“How sure a thing is Beauty,”
I cried. “No bolt can slay,
No wave nor shock despoil her,
No ravishers dismay.
Her warriors are the angels
That cherish from afar,
Her warders people Heaven
And watch from every star.
The granite hills are slighter,
The sea more like to fail;
Behind the rose the planet,
The Law behind the veil.”

This poem is in the Public Domain.

Willa Sibert Cather (1873 – 1947) American writer known for her novels of life on the Great Plains, including O Pioneers!, The Song of the Lark, and My Ántonia. She was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1923 for "One of Ours", a novel set during World War I.
Cather achieved recognition as a novelist of the frontier and pioneer experience.

Read more from Pepe's Painting LLC

Hunger impacts all of us | 360-435-1631

Snohomish, Skagit and Island County

Click the Image to learn more about us

Giving Kids in Need the Chance to Read
  Non-profit organization - Seattle, WA

Read more from Kudos 365