Lyrics of Life (1909)/Indian-Pipe

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For works with similar titles, see Indian Pipes.
For other versions of this work, see Indian-Pipe.


In the heart of the forest arising,
 Slim, ghostly, and fair,
Ethereal offspring of moisture,
 Of earth and of air;
With slender stems anchored together
 Where first they uncurl,
Each tipped with its exquisite lily
 Of mother-of-pearl;
'Mid the pine-needles, closely enwoven
 Its roots to embale,—
The Indian-pipe of the woodland,
 Thrice lovely and frail!

Is this but an earth-springing fungus—
 This darling of Fate
Which out of the mouldering darkness
 Such light can create?
Or is it the spirit of Beauty,
 Here drawn by love's lure
To give to the forest a something
 Unearthy and pure:
To crystallize dewdrop and balsam
 And dryad-lisped words
And starbeam and moonrise and rapture
 And song of wild birds?