Night in the unslumbering forest! From the free,
Vast pinelands by the foot of man untrod,
Blows the wild wind, roaming rejoicingly
This wilderness of God;
And the tall firs that all day long have flung
Balsamic odors where the sunshine burned,
Chant to its harping primal epics learned
When this old world was young.
Beyond the lake, white, girdling peaks uplift
Untroubled brows to virgin skies afar,
And o’er the uncertain water glimmers drift
Of fitful cloud and star.
Sure never day such mystic beauty held
As sylvan midnight here in this surcease
Of toil, when the kind darkness gives us peace
Garnered from years of eld.
Lo! Hearken to the mountain waterfall
Laughing adown its pathway to the glen
And nearer, in the cedars, the low call
Of brook to brook again;
Voices that garish daytime may not know
Wander at will along the bosky steeps,
And silent, silver-footed moonlight creeps
Through the dim glades below.
Oh, it is well to waken with the woods
And feel, as those who wait with God alone,
The forest’s heart in these rare solitudes
Beating against our own.
Close-shut behind us are the gates of care,
Divinity enfolds us, prone to bless,
And our souls kneel. Night in the wilderness
Is one great prayer.