The Comfort Of The Woods

By Amos Russel Wells

I understand my comrades of the woods,
And they know me completely. Not an oak
But is my brother, strong, reserved, sincere.
Along the happy, peaceful forest ways
That wind so intimately through the trees
I hold a calm communion with my friends,
The pines and gentle birches. Day by day
Insensibly the bond is closer drawn
With beckonings of branches, waftitures
Of subtle fragrance, melodies of birds,
Flickers of sunlight on the level leaves,
A thousand sweet enchantments pure and good.
This air dissolves my fretfulness and fears;
They fall into the green depths of the dell,
The cheery brooklet carries them away,
The bushes brush them off. I enter here
With furrowed brow and heavy-burdened heart;
But little unseen hands are softly pressed
Upon the frowns, and little unseen hands
Tug at the burdens till they all are gone.
Ah, what am I that these my friends
Should minister to me so graciously?
Do they not know my follies and my sin?
Yet with a mother’s blind, forgiving love
They cleanse the foulnesses they will not see.
Nor do they only wait for me to come,
Withdrawn, expectant; but amid the din
Of cities, and upon the crowded streets,
I feel the brick and mortar fade away,
Aud find the woods around me once again,
Tall, shadowy, protecting, Once again
I hear the woodland murmurs like a hymn,
And on my troubled spirit lies once more
The peaceful benediction of the trees.

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