Katharine Lee Bates

(1859-1929 / United States)

Eavesdropping


THOUGH the winds but stir on their hoary thrones
Of hemlock and pungent pine,
All the whispering woodland tones
Gossip of things divine, —
Why God is gray in the granite rock,
And green in the lichen flake,
And swift in the darting swallow-flock,
And slow in the lapping lake;
Why God is sweet in the hermit-thrush,
And hoarse in the frog; and why
His touch on the bee is golden plush,
And gauze on the stinging fly;
Why God is life in the mushroom there,
And death in the toadstool here;
Mirth in the dancing maidenhair;
In its hidden adder, fear.
Oh, if this berry that stains my lip
Could teach me the woodland chat,
Science would bow to my scholarship,
And Theology doff the hat.

Submitted: Friday, April 16, 2010

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