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Poem by Leigh Gordon Giltner

In Woodland Ways

Out of the poignant glare, the shadeless heat
Of summer noon, beseech thee follow me
Into the dim, dream-haunted secrecy
The cool, green glooms, the grottoed deep retreat,
Of yon old wood; down aisles of lichened trees--
Grey Merlins clasped by lissom Viviens
Of clinging vine--to cloistered sylvan glens,
Where Nature weaves her fairest mysteries.

Here let us rest a little--find surcease
For feet grown weary of the thridded street
That echoes ever to the ceaseless beat
Of human tread;--a brief while know the ease
Of dreamful rest, to slumb'rous languors stilled
On Orient rugs of dappled mosses spread
In nooks where blossom, purple, white and red,
The flowers Summer's lavish hands have spilled.

Wild woodland creatures near us unafraid,
Some strange enchantment doth the forest hold--
Was that a sungleam, or a wand of gold
By tricksy Puck or wanton Ariel swayed?
Old oaks and beeches open wide their doors
And hamadryads veiled in golden sheen
Floating diaphanous o'er robes of green
Walk with still feet the forest's russet floors.

Lo, here are fairies hid in flower-bells,
There wood-nymphs fleeing from pursuing fauns,
And naiads fleshed with hues of rosy dawns
Lie dreaming by white streams in dusky dells;
We tread dim paths untrod by foot of man
And hark the horn of Dian ringing clear;
While faint, elusive, thin--now far, now near,
Meseems I hear the oaten pipe of Pan.

And while o'erhead the plaining wood-dove grieves,
The cardinal--a wingèd, scarlet flower--
Sprays all the air with song, a golden shower
Of flutes-notes sifting downward thro' the leaves.
Ah, sweet enchantment doth the forest hold,
For Nature's self doth haunt these woodland ways,
My fevered brow on her cool breast she lays
And care slips from me as a garment old.

Leigh Gordon Giltner

Leigh Gordon Giltner's other poems:
  1. To One Who Sleeps
  2. Shylock
  3. Afterbloom
  4. Euthumism
  5. Under the Leaves

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