To A Solitary Fir—tree


Fir, that on this moor austere,
Without kin or neighbour near,
Utterest now bleak winter’s moan
As if its vext soul were thine own!
Unbefriended, placed like thee,
Ah, how lonely should I be!
But luminous midsummer nights,
Faintly filled with starry lights,
Morns miraculously clear
In the soft youth of the year,
Autumn mists and evenings chill,
Find thee proudly patient still:
None can mar thy steadfast mood,
Thy stanch and stately fortitude.
Had I no heart, to strive, to crave,
I too, perchance, could be as brave!
But oh, to crave and not be filled,
With passionate longing never stilled,
Desiring in the midst of bliss,
Thou, strong Tree, thou know’st not this:
The outstretched arms, the hungry eyes,
Gazing up to silent skies,
Beautiful, silent skies of June,
And radiant mystery of the moon!
To buy peace, we men forget:
But peace is in thy fibres set.
If thou art not stirred with joy,
Thou hast nothing that can cloy;
Without effort, without strife,
Art thyself, and liv’st thy life.
This solitude thou hast not known,
Both to be human and alone.

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