Katharine Lee Bates

Aug. 12, 1859 - Mar. 28, 1929


Pointed Firs

by Katharine Lee Bates

Dull clang that hurts this dreamy air,
Forgive me if I turn
From you to little bells of dew
Upon the forest fern.

More lightly may I lift my prayer
Beneath these pointed firs
Imbued with simple sanctitude
By woodland worshippers.

The squirrel saints race up the stair,
Frisking from bough to stem,
For God finds no behavior odd
In wild Jerusalem.

I love the liberty they wear,
Those green, soft-chanting spires
That hush to hear the hermit thrush
Voice earth's divine desires.

Broken by grief, I cannot bear
The ministry of words,
Content to taste the sacrament
Of winds and leaves and birds.


Yellow Clover: A Book Of Remembrance
Copyright 1922
E. P. Dutton & Company, New York