Earlier this year, before a spate of chaos hit my life, I cleared the area at the foot of the rock wall for two new garden beds. We piled rocks at the edge of the cleared area intending to build up a terrace. Well… The newly cleared ground never got mulched, and the rocks are now hidden under a jungle canopy of weeds. I surveyed the mess yesterday and remembered this Kipling poem that I loved so much as a child that I memorized it.
The Way Through the Woods by Rudyard Kipling
They shut the road through the woods
Seventy years ago.
Weather and rain have undone it again,
And now you would never know
There was once a road through the woods
Before they planted the trees.
It is underneath the coppice and heath,
And the thin anemones.
Only the keeper sees
That, where the ring-dove broods,
And the badgers roll at ease,
There was once a road through the woods.
Yet, if you enter the woods
Of a summer evening late,
When the night-air cools on the trout-ringed pools
Where the otter whistles his mate.
(They fear not men in the woods,
Because they see so few)
You will hear the beat of a horse’s feet,
And the swish of a skirt in the dew,
Steadily cantering through
The misty solitudes,
As though they perfectly knew
The old lost road through the woods….
But there is no road through the woods.
I still love the rhythm of this poem when you read it aloud.
For more Poetry Friday, visit the wonderful Diane at Random Noodling.