George Meredith

(12 February 1828 – 18 May 1909 / Portsmouth, England)

Woodman And Echo


Close Echo hears the woodman's axe,
To double on it, as in glee,
With clap of hands, and little lacks
Of meaning in her repartee.
For all shall fall,
As one has done,
The tree of me,
Of thee the tree;
And unto all
The fate we wait
Reveals the wheels
Whereon we run:
We tower to flower,
We spread the shade,
We drop for crop,
At length are laid;
Are rolled in mould,
From chop and lop:
And are we thick in woodland tracks,
Or tempting of our stature we,
The end is one, we do but wax
For service over land and sea.
So, strike! the like
Shall thus of us,
My brawny woodman, claim the tax.
Nor foe thy blow,
Though wood be good,
And shriekingly the timber cracks:
The ground we crowned
Shall speed the seed
Of younger into swelling sacks.

For use he hews,
To make awake
The spirit of what stuff we be:
Our earth of mirth
And tears he clears
For braver, let our minds agree;
And then will men
Within them win
An Echo clapping harmony.

Submitted: Thursday, April 15, 2010

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