The Heart O' The Woods

By John Burroughs

I hear it beat in morning still
When April skies have lost their gloom,
And through the woods there runs a thrill
That wakes arbutus into bloom.
I hear it throb in sprouting May —
A muffled murmur on the breeze,
Like mellow thunder leagues away,
Or booming voice of distant seas.
Or when the autumn leaves are shed,
And frosts attend the fading year,
Like secret mine sprung by my tread
A covey bursts from hiding near.
I feel its pulse ‘mid winter snows,
And feel my own with added force,
When partridge drops his cautious pose,
And forward takes his humming course.
The startled birches shake their curls,
A withered leaf leaps in the breeze;
Some hidden mortar speaks, and hurls
Its feathered missile through the trees.
Compact of life, of fervent wing,
A dynamo of feathered power,
Thy drum is music in the spring,
Thy flight is music every hour.

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