The House In The Wood Beside The Lake
The house in the wood beside the lake
That I once knew well I must know no more
My slow feet other paths must take --
How soon would they reach the old known door!
But now that time is o'er.
The lake is quiet and hush to-day;
The downward heat keeps the water still
And the wind that round me used to play
Ere through elm and oak from the pine-clad hill
I plunged with heart a-thrill.
A time can die as a man can die
And be buried too and buried deep;
But a memory lives though the ages fly--
I know two hearts one memory keep
That cannot die or sleep.
How clear the shadow of every tree--
The oaks and elms in stately line!
The lake is like a silent sea
Of emerald, or an emerald mine,
Till the forest thins to pine.
For the slender pine has never a leaf,
And the sun and the breeze break through at will--
There's a weed that the eddy whirls in a sheaf
In the brown lake's depths, all wet and chill,--
I call it the lake-pine still.
Such idle names we used to give
To the weeds as we passed here in our boat--
We shall pass no more, and they shall live
While others o'er them idly float--
They shall neither hear nor note,
They are things that never hear or see--
Yet once I trusted my heart to all;
I heard my tale from many a tree,--
Thought the lake-pines knew one light foot-fall,
One laugh and one low call.
And perhaps they did, for all the day
They seem like me to be sad and lone;
The current has not come to play
And twist its sheaf; no breeze has blown,
Though yon the sedges moan.
And oft o'er the waters I fondly bowed,
And made belief that I saw there
One face, for my fancy featured a cloud
Or showed me my own more bright and fair--
How vainly now I stare!
Is it vain to think that at some time yet--
Far off, perhaps in a thousand years--
We shall meet again as we have met:
A meeting of olden joy and tears
Which all the more endears.
Perhaps in a house beside a lake
In a wood of elm and oak and beech--
Ah, hope is long! It can wait and wake.
Though the world be dead it can forward reach
And join us each to each.
But I fear the waiting -- God, recall,
Recall, recall Thy fated will!
How can I wait while the slow leaves fall
From the tree of time and I fulfil
My vigil lone and chill?
How can I wait for what is mine?--
Thou didst will it so, and Thou art just--
Oh, give me the life of the water-pine
Till I hear one laugh, one call I trust,
One foot-fall in the dust!
Mine then! Mine now, by changeless fate--
I ask but this with humble soul ;--
But bid me not, O God, to wait
With miser hope's reluctant dole
While wakeful aeons roll!
The time I loved is dead, cold dead;
For it could die, and shall not rise
As I shall from a grosser bed
To wait and watch with hungered eyes
And many a vain surmise.
The sedge and pines are moaning now;
The current comes to twist its sheaf;
The shadow of the isle-tree bough
Is blotted out; and twilight brief
Foreruns long night of grief.
Thomas MacDonagh's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (The House In The Wood Beside The Lake by Thomas MacDonagh )
- There Are So Many Things..., Dr John Celes
- For Alex in Winter, Neal Beightol
- Last Words, Josilinia Plyman
- Bogus Are Your Deeds, Lawrence S. Pertillar
- An Unfortunate Death, Kim Barney
- in time, Cee Bea
- Genetic Predisposition And Violence, Is It Poetry
- Reading a Book, swapna bhattacharya
- Sparky, Rena Thompson
- Self-Portrait, swapna bhattacharya
Poem of the Day
- 04 Tongues Made Of Glass, Shaun Shane
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Dreams, Langston Hughes
- Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
- Nothing Gold Can Stay, Robert Frost
- Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
- If, Rudyard Kipling
- A Ballad of Death, Algernon Charles Swinburne
- Aphrodisiac, Sheldon Allan Silverstein
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
- Heather Burns
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827)