This wood is lonely; scarce a sound is heard;
Silent the wind is; silent every bird
That made this solitude with music ring,
When buds were bursting in the days of spring,
Nature seems here asleep; each tiny sound
But makes the hush of autumn more profound.
Pensive o’er paths leaf-carpeted I stroll,
And melancholy fancies fill my soul.
Come graveyard thoughts and visions of decay
To make the dim, grey paths more dim and grey;
But sunbeams here and there invade the gloom –
As dreams of youth the path of age illume.
Among these trees, whose great arms are upheld
In attitude of prayer, like saints of old,
There’s a low rustle, lone and tremulous –
The leaves of Memory might rustle thus.
Lonely the wood: yet there’s a charm sublime
In the sad place and in the solemn time;
A mystic something, which attracts the soul,
And gives it energy to seek the Goal.
‘The Bard of Foremass’
Foremass Lower, Sixmilecross, Co. Tyrone.