“I trust in nature for the stable laws of beauty and utility.
Spring shall plant and autumn garner to the end of time.”
– Robert Browning
Barbed wires on rusted nails can’t hold
lone bulls at home when they smell pasture.
They thrust their bone skulls under barbs,
tongues quivering for a taste of strange
and shove until the post gives way. Days later,
we find wires sagging, reset the post,
and tighten bent wires like a fiddle
and rope the worn-out bull,
wishing there was only a fence
between us and our heart’s desire.
But something with spurs and a rope
would find us, cursing and yelling on horseback,
cutting us from escape down arroyos,
dragging us frothing and wild-eyed
back to the sun-bleached yellow range,
the same whirlpool of buzzards.
– “Riding Herd” by Walter McDonald
Rise up, rise up,
And, as the trumpet blowing
Chases the dreams of men,
As the dawn glowing
The stars that left unlit
The land and water,
Rise up and scatter
The dew that covers
The print of last night’s lovers—
Scatter it, scatter it!
While you are listening
To the clear horn,
Forget, men, everything
On this earth newborn,
Except that it is lovelier
Than any mysteries.
Open your eyes to the air
That has washed the eyes of the stars
Through all the dewy night:
Up with the light,
To the old wars;
– “The Trumpet” by Edward Thomas
Here, where the world is quiet ;
Here, where all trouble seems
Dead winds’ and spent waves’ riot
In doubtful dreams of dreams ;
I watch the green field growing
For reaping folk and sowing,
For harvest-time and mowing,
A sleepy world of streams.
– From “The Garden of Proserpine” by Algernon Charles Swinburne
O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow’s wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
Tomorrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow.
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know.
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away.
Retard the sun with gentle mist;
Enchant the land with amethyst.
For the grapes’ sake, if they were all,
Whose leaves already are burnt with frost,
Whose clustered fruit must else be lost–
For the grapes’ sake along the wall.
– “October” by Robert Frost
The dear old farm has a sacred charm
That extends to farthest bound,
Every rock and tree is dear to me,
And hallowed seems the ground.
Its beautiful stream whose waters gleam
As they dance on to the sea,
Sings sweeter song, as it moves along,
Than other waters to me.
No leaves are so green, as those that screen
The revered old farm-house doors,
From the burning sun of torrid June
When his fiercest rays he pours.
Each grove and field doth a mem’ry yield
Of dear childhood’s blissful hours,
And in accents clear, voices I hear
That have now augmented powers.
My father’s care and my mother’s prayer
Are now ended here on earth,
But as time rolls on, since they have gone,
I shall understand their worth.
There’s a sacred charm in the dear old farm,
For loved ones have trod its soil,
And much I now see, appears to me
As fruit of their faithful toil.
– “Old Farm” by Jared Barhite
Nature remains faithful by natural light, only.
Immeasurable, invisible in the wind.
Visible when blades and branches bend.
The wind speaks fluent rain.
Despite it the rain falls straight.
And beyond it abandoned barns defend abandoned men.
– Prayer’s End by Brooklyn Copeland