In the middle of the wood it starts,
Then over the wall and the meadow
And into our ears all day. But it departs—
Sometimes—like a shadow.
There is an instant when it grows
Too weak to climb a solid fence,
And creeps to find a crack. But the wind blows,
Scattering it hence
In whimpering fragments like the leaves
That every autumn drives before.
Then rain again in the hills—and the brook receives
It home with a roar.
From the middle of the wood again,
Over the wall and the meadow,
It comes one day to the minds of waiting men
Like a shadow.
This poem is in the public domain.