Friday, March 17, 2017

INDIAN-PIPE, a poem


IN the heart of the forest arising,
     Slim, ghostly, and fair,
Ethereal offspring of moisture,
     Of earth and of air;
With slender stems anchored together
     Where first they uncurl,
Each tipped with its exquisite lily
     Of mother-of-pearl;
Mid the pine-needles, closely enwoven
     Its roots to embale,—
The Indian-pipe of the woodland,
     Thrice lovely and frail!

Is this but an earth-springing fungus—
     This darling of Fate
Which out of the mouldering darkness
     Such light can create?
Or is it the spirit of Beauty,
     Here drawn by love's lure
To give to the forest a something
     Unearthy and pure:
To crystallize dewdrop and balsam
     And dryad-lisped words
And starbeam and moonrise and rapture
     And song of wild birds?
"Indian-Pipe" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in Harper's Monthly Magazine (March 1909), Lyrics of Life (1909) and Poems (1916) Volume I.

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