I Sought the Wood in Summer

Representative Text

1 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.

2 “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.”

3 I sought the wood in winter
when every leaf was dead;
behind the wind-whipped branches
the winter sun was red.
The birches, white and slender,
in breathless marble stood,
the brook, a white immortal,
slept silent in the wood.

4 “How sure a thing is Beauty,”
I cried. “No bolt can slay,
nor wave nor shock despoil her,
nor ravishers dismay.
The granite hills are slighter,
the sea more like to fail,
behind the rose the planet,
the Law behind the veil.”

Source: Singing the Living Tradition #328

Author: Willa Cather

(no biographical information available about Willa Cather.) Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: I sought the wood in summer
Title: I Sought the Wood in Summer
Author: Willa Cather
Meter: 7.6.7.6 D
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain

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Singing the Living Tradition #328

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