The House of the Trees
& Other Poems

by Ethelwyn Wetherald


The Sound of the Axe

WITH the sound of an axe on the light wind’s tracks
    For my only company,
And a speck of sky like a human eye
    Blue, bending over me,

I lie at rest on the low moss pressed,
    Whose loose leaves downward drip;
As light they move as a word of love
    Or a finger to the lip.

’Neath the canopies of the sunbright trees
    Pierced by an Autumn ray,
To rich red flakes the old log breaks
    In exquisite decay.

While in the pines where no sun shines
    Perpetual morning lies.
What bed more sweet could stay her feet,
    Or hold her dreaming eyes?

No sound is there in the middle air
    But sudden wings that soar, [Page 7]
As a strange bird’s cry goes drifting by—
    And then I hear once more

That sound of an axe till the great tree cracks,
    Then a crash comes as if all
The winds that through its bright leaves blew
    Were sorrowing in its fall. [Page 8]