I will not walk in the wood to-night, I will not stand by the water’s edge And see day lie on the dusk’s bright ledge Until it turn, a star at its breast, To rest. I will not see the wide-flung hills Closing darkly about my grief, I wore a crown of their lightest leaf, But now they press like a cold, blue ring, Imprisoning. I dare not meet that caroling blade, Jauntily drawn in the sunset pine, Stabbing me with its thrust divine, Knowing my naked, aching need, Till I bleed. Sheathe your song, invincible bird, Strike not at me with that flashing note, Have pity, have pity, persistent throat, Deliver me not to your dread delight To-night! I am afraid of the creeping wood, I am afraid of the furtive trees, Hiding behind them, memories, Ready to spring, to clutch, to tear, Wait for me there.
The squall sweeps gray-winged across the obliterated hills,
And the startled lake seems to run before it;
From the wood comes a clamor of leaves,
Tugging at the twigs,
Pouring from the branches,
And suddenly the birds are still.
Thunder crumples the sky,
Lightning tears at it.
And now the rain!
The wind, reveling in the confusion of great pines!
And a silver sifting of light,
A sense of summer anger passing,
Of summer gentleness creeping nearer—