Robert Laurence Binyon

(1869-1943 / England)

The Forest Pine - Poem by Robert Laurence Binyon

A hundred autumns fallen in fire
To dust and mould
Have faded from their perished gold
To throne thee higher,
O Titan pine, that soarest straight
From ground to sky without a mate,
Like one desire.

Dark is the hollow as a cup
Of shadow immense,
Of daylight--daunting dimness, whence
Thou springest up
Far into light, to take thy fill
Of splendour, solitary in still
Magnificence.

Leaves of the low brake hide a stir
Of small soft things:
Life, busy in flit of secret wings
And slinking fur,
Pricks buried seeds that upward thrust,
And green through germinating dust
Triumphant stings.

But thou, that seemest earth to scorn
And air to claim,
With all thy plumy spire aflame
And crest upborne
In the blue air, so far, so high,
As if the silence of the sky
About thee came,

Thou hidest all the sappy stream
That in thee swells;
Motionless fibre nothing tells:
And thou dost seem
To tower in glorious ignorance
Of earth's small stir and chafe, a trance,
A soaring dream!

And in a trance thou holdest me
With bated will;
And I am still, as thou art still,
My spirit free,
My body charm--dissolved to naught
But the vibration of a thought,
If thought could be.

O hush! within the blood is felt
An airy fear,
A faltering; and the heart can hear
The silence melt
To something frailer than a sound
Borne from the wide horizon's bound
To the inward ear.

Slowly, ah! slowly, a hush begins,
A trembling, where
Those branches sleep on golden air,
And gradual wins
A voice, a music, a long surge,
Sweet as a song, sad as a dirge,
Sighed out like prayer!

The singer knows not what he sings.
A lonely sound
Comes trembling through him from profound
Aerial springs.
The songs, the sighs, the world exiled,
Seek him and in his heart--throbs wild
Still their wild wings.


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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, September 1, 2010



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