Sunbeams in the Wood

Mark ye not the sunbeams glancing
Through the cool green shade,

Mark ye not the sunbeams glancing
Through the cool green shade,
On the waving fern-leaves dancing,
In the quiet glade?


See you how they change and quiver
Where the broad oaks rise,
Rippling like a golden river
From their fountain skies?


On the gray old timber resting
Like a sleeping dove,
Like a fairy grandchild nesting
In an old man's love.


On the dusty pathway tracing
Arabesques with golden style;
Light and shadow interlacing,
Like a tearful smile.


Many a hidden leaf revealing,
Many an unseen flower;
Like a maiden lightly stealing
Past each secret bower.


Oh!  how beautiful they make it
Everywhere they fall;
Sunbeams!  why will ye forsake it
At pale Evening's call?


In the arching thickets linger,
In the woodland aisle,
Gilding them with trembling finger,
Yet a little while.


Then, your last calm radiance pouring,
Bid the earth good-night;
Like a sainted spirit soaring
To a home of light.

~ Frances Ridley Havergal