Gather the leaves from the forest
And blow them over the world,
The wind of winter follows
The wind of autumn furled.
Only the beech tree cherishes
A leaf or two for ruth,
Their stems too tough for the tempest,
Like thoughts of love and of youth.
You may sit by the fire and ponder
While darkness veils the pane,
And fear that your memories are rushing away
In the wind and the rain.
But you'll find them in the quiet
When the clouds race with the moon,
Making the tender silver sound
Of a beech in the month of June.
For you cannot rob the memory
Of the leaves it loves the best;
The wind of time may harry them,
It rushes away with the rest.
Duncan Campbell Scott (1862-1947)
from Lundy's Lane, and other poems, 1916
[Poem is in the public domain in Canada and the United States]
Duncan Campbell Scott biography