Wilfrid Gibson

In the forest

Unflinching I have borne the brunt of spears-
Yet, under these dark boughs that writhe and twist,
My heart is a wren's heart when she hears
The litch-owl called through the evening mist,
And falters cowed, a thing of fluttering fears,
Before some shadow-plumed antagonist.

Quaking I ride, yet know not what I dread:
Naught stirs the boding silence but the sound
Of beechmast crackling 'neath my horse's tread,
Or some last leaf that flutters to the ground;
And long it seems, since, roofless and blood-red,
The sun is seas of night-black boughs was drowned.

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