poet Sidney Lanier

Sidney Lanier

#266 on top 500 poets

A Ballad Of The Trees And The Master

Into the woods my Master went,
Clean forspent, forspent.
Into the woods my Master came,
Forspent with love and shame.
But the olives they were not blind to Him,
The little gray leaves were kind to Him:
The thorn-tree had a mind to Him
When into the woods He came.

Out of the woods my Master went,
And He was well content.
Out of the woods my Master came,
Content with death and shame.
When Death and Shame would woo Him last,
From under the trees they drew Him last:
'Twas on a tree they slew Him - last
When out of the woods He came.

Topic(s) of this poem: tree

Poem Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002
Poem Edited: Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Form: Ballad


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Comments about A Ballad Of The Trees And The Master by Sidney Lanier

  • Shiela (11/26/2020 4:21:00 AM)

    Diko naintindihan huhh

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  • William Ellis (7/31/2020 5:52:00 PM)

    Lanier very rarely wrote this well. When he did, the results were spell-binding: this poem, " The Marshes of Glynn, " and " The Revenge of Hamish."

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  • Anoymous (12/11/2018 12:51:00 PM)

    That was a really strong poem that really flowed well together. Great poem!

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  • Brian JaniBrian Jani (4/29/2014 4:36:00 AM)

    I like this poem, it's quite good

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  • Judith Hill (11/30/2009 7:57:00 PM)

    I have these words which I believe also belong to this poem. Is this correct? It would have to be the beginning of the poem.
    'Mary walked among the birch trees
    questioning each one.
    'Little birch trees, little white souls,
    Have you seen my son? '
    None made answer, none knew of him......

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    American Lit.(1/6/2020 10:27:00 AM)

    No, this is the entirety of the poem.

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  • Jerry L Ogles (12/5/2007 5:47:00 AM)

    Dear Lecie:
    There certainly is a biblical aspect to this poem of Lanier's. As a matter of fact, it was made into a hymn and can be found, I believe, in the 1940 Hymnal of the Episcopal Church (PECUSA, not ECUSA) .
    It is a beautiful expression of Christ's sacrifice and final victory for us.
    Jerry (*___~)

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  • Lecie Poetry AmbassadorLecie Poetry Ambassador (6/17/2006 11:21:00 AM)

    I see a Biblical imagery in this very unique poem about Salvation-Christ.
    Do you see this too?


    Lecie :)

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    American Lit.(1/6/2020 10:33:00 AM)

    I believe that was Lanier's intention. He was connecting the Garden of Gethsemane imagery with both the Garden of Eden and Jesus's death. Lanier was also pointing out the irony in the Lord of nature dying, on one of his own trees, at the hands of people he had made.

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Read poems about / on: tree, death, ballad