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,
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    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,
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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,
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    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
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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]