I am for the woods against the world,
But are the woods for me?
I have sought them sadly anew, fearing
My fate's mutability,
Or that which action and process make
Of former sympathy.
Strange that those should arrive strangers
Who were once entirely at home.
Colonnade, sunny wall and warren,
Islet, osier, foam,
Buds and leaves and selves seemed
Safe to the day of doom.
By-roads following, and this way wondering
I spy men abroad
In orchards, knarred and woody men
Whose touch is bough and bud;
Co-arboreal sons of landscape.
Then in the windstript wood
Is the cracking of stems; and under the thorn
With a kobold's closeness lurks
The wanderer with his knife and rods,
That like a bald rook works;
His woman-rook about the thicket
Prowls at the hazel-forks.
Sheep lying out by the swollen river
Let the flood roll down
Without so much as a glance; they know it;
The hurling seas of brown
Cannot persuade the ferrying moorhen
Her one willow will drown.
This way wondering, I renew
Some sense of common right;
And through my armour of imposition
With the Spring's keen light,
Till for the woods against the world
I kiss the aconite.