Frank Dempster Sherman


A Woodland Spring

by Frank Dempster Sherman

Beneath the trees whose lisping brood
With every breath of summer wake,
And in the grove's green solitude
Soft music make,

A sylvan deity her pool
Of crystal water deep has hid,
Perpetually fresh and cool,
The rocks amid.

Gray, like a carpet, lies the moss,
To shield from ragged stones her feet;
And for a roof the branches cross
Above and meet.

Birds in these rafters build and mate,
And rear their lyric-hearted throng,
And teach them well to imitate
Her happy song.

Hither came I upon a time
To rest me in the tranquil shade,
Led by a brook whose limpid rhyme
Its source betrayed.

I watched these minstrels, pair by pair,
Come to the fountain's pebbly brink
And, pausing first as if in prayer,
Dip down and drink.

They seemed to know the goddess who
Presided o'er this woodland spring;
And I, who longed to know her too,
Bade them to sing.

Then, as they sang, awhile I knelt
In worship at her sylvan shrine;
And even as I prayed I felt
Her lips touch mine!


Lyrics For A Lute
Copyright 1890
Boston and New York, Houghton, Mifflin, and Company