Poems (Coates 1916)/Volume I/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?