O be swift— we have always known you wanted us. We fled inland with our flocks. we pastured them in hollows, cut off from the wind and the salt track of the marsh. We worshipped inland— we stepped past wood-flowers, we forgot your tang, we brushed wood-grass. We wandered from pine-hills through oak and scrub-oak tangles, we broke hyssop and bramble, we caught flower and new bramble-fruit in our hair: we laughed as each branch whipped back, we tore our feet in half-buried rocks and knotted roots and acorn-cups. We forgot—we worshipped, we parted green from green, we sought further thickets, we dipped our ankles through leaf-mould and earth, and wood and wood-bank enchanted us— and the feel of the clefts in the bark, and the slope between tree and tree— and a slender path strung field to field and wood to wood and hill to hill and the forest after it. We forgot—for a moment tree-resin, tree-bark, sweat of a torn branch were sweet to taste. We were enchanted with the fields, the tufts of coarse grass— in the shorter grass— we loved all this. But now, our boat climbs—hesitates—drops— climbs—hesitates—crawls back— climbs—hesitates— O, be swift— we have always known you wanted us.
This poem is in the public domain.