Beeches shook their auburn curls
like closely clustered giddy girls
chattering to pose and tease
whispering jokes into the breeze
Peaceably beneath I trod
an early dark and dewy sod
wondering that all was good
deeply in the wandering wood
A fungus there, a cobweb here
a brown birdsong above my ear
every sense at once obedient
yet drunk on every sweet ingredient
The dog a dizzy blur of mania
in a squirrel-scent arcadia
while above her quarry peers
twitching grey and tufted ears
Taunt her more, nut-loving friends!
On your guile a life depends!
A patch of silver in the roots!
In my heart a shudder shoots!
A tiny child in velveteen
by all others yet unseen
much too young to be abroad
a loss a mother can’t afford!
Beneath perhaps in rooty rooms
she paced and sighed imagined dooms
pressing to his empty nest
as if to hold him to her breast
Above he clawed and clutched and stretched
his little tracks in soil etched
the tiny traveler damp and grey
with what eyes knew he his way?
Somnambulant or still birth-blind
yet no pause to turn behind
he clung with purpose to his goal
and reached the safe and sandy hole
Did he trace his mother’s love?
Then let me do the same above
wandering asleep or blind
the stark morass we call the mind!
God forget me not on earth!
Breath of life that gave me birth
draw this little child of Yours
safely to Your Heart Indoors!