Night in the Woodland

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Night in the Woodland
By Archie Austin Coates
(From City Tides, 1918, pg 105-106)

I looked into the stream and beheld the heavens,
The stars all swimming in the green depths
Like little silver fish.
And the round moon lay on the silken breast of the pool
Like a breastplate on a Valkyrie’s bosom;
The trees bent low, and all around were night-sounds…
They lulled out all turbulency, they stole away the world
From me, stretched on the brown leaves,
They were crackling, mirthful leaves,
Scented with earth-scent, and damp with earth-tears.

I lay in the glow of the fire,
And you were beside me,
Speaking in a low, so carefully balanced voice
That your tones melted into the night-sounds,
And rustlied with the leaves.
And sang with the water.

I do not know what you said. . . .
I only know we had all merged into one with the world,
You and the fire-glow and the earth-smell,
And the leaves and the moon pale with night-tears,
And the stars swimming in the water,
And I, looking deep-eyed into the stream.