About this Poem 

“Diana of the Hunt” was originally published in Willson’s 1867 collection The Old Sergeant, and Other Poems.

Diana of the Hunt

Forceythe Willson

All can see, in the shining places,
Vestiges of her classic graces;
Where her footsteps, fleet and stark,
Have beautifully embossed the dark.

We know indeed, that the stately and golden
Antlers, hunters and heroes olden,
Wood-nymph, satyr, and sylvan faun.—
Goddess and stag, are gone!—all gone!
But still,—as strange as it may appear,—

Sometimes when the nights are bright and clear,
The long-breathed hounds are heard to bay
Over the hills and far away!
And lovers who walk at Love’s high Noon,
See something flash in the light of the moon,

As a shining stag swept through the sky,
And the chase of the goddess were up, on high.
But be this as it may, in sooth,
It is only in the pursuit of Truth,
That the Soul shall overtake and possess

The most exalted Happiness.

This poem is in the public domain. This poem appeared in Poem-a-Day on July 27, 2014.

This poem is in the public domain. This poem appeared in Poem-a-Day on July 27, 2014.

Forceythe Willson

Forceythe Willson was born in Little Genesee, New York, in 1837. “The Old Sergeant” became his most famous poem and was praised by notable figures like Abraham Lincoln and Ralph Waldo Emerson. Willson died in Alfred, New York, in 1867.