7 MAY 1927, Page 13


Wayfarer's Thorn

OF• all the trees, in every land,

From Forest Flame to snowy pine, O I will keep, by heart and hand, The hawthorn and the blackthorn mine : Of all the trees that I have known,

On every road, however long—

For hawthorn flower is memory's own And blackthorn boughs as faith are strong.

0 never a tree but fairly grows ! - Slight birch, the Lady of the Woods, And oak, and ash, and sweet wild rose, And cypress in starlit solitudes : Laburnum and lilac, cherry, larch, Red rowans in the hills of home, Slim sallow stems that flower in March, And ilex by the salt sea foam.

Yes, elm and apple, and beechen dales,

Dim silvery firs by silent seas—

But still shall rove Time's nightingales Thro' hawthorn trees and blackthorn trees : And holier yet, in music's wake, As holly's lamps when autumn ends, Sweet hawthorn blooms for sorrow's sake, And blackthorn boughs are pilgrims' friends.

In hawthorn red by upland ways, Or white as cloud in evening dells, I will keep lovely all my days The magic hours that need no bells : And when the blackthorn spills its load Of stars too bright to let me rest, I'll cut a stick, and take the road, And walk into the crimson West.