Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE WAY THE TREES BREAK THE SKYLINE, by KATHARINE TONKIN

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

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First Line: The shoreline of infinities
Last Line: Of dream blows me thither like dust.
Subject(s): Forests; Trees; Woods

The shoreline of infinities
Is just beyond that belt of trees;
Mile on mile -- cobalt and bronze --
The margin of the woodland runs;
Through Hudson, Litchfield, Manchester
Hemlock, birch, and pine and fir,
Weave a border figured dim
With fixed trunk and swaying limb, --
That in the distance to my eye
The wainscot is on a wall of sky.

There are dreams that half forbid
Surprise at all the wonder hid
Behind that wall, so low to earth,
Where the wild creatures come to birth:
Crawling, stepping, hopping, winged
Creatures, unnumbered and unsinged:
Out of the sight and mind of man,
But spume of Nature ere he began: --
What have my dreams to do with these
Denizens under dusky trees?

Nor I forget the richest bloom
Of flowers within the woodland room:
Scent of these, and pungent vines
Under covert, or where there shines
Golden spears of sunlight through
Leaf and branch, to stab the dew;
All this wealth my heart may prize
But further bournes entice my eyes;
There are more thrilling fragrancies
Than haunt the air beneath the trees.

The woods are half a mile from me,
Still must I traverse immensity --
Become an element, flame or wind,
Swift as a comet ere I find
The distance reached, the goal confronted,
My soul compels and my vision haunted
Since first that wavering, fiery sign
Flashed as a signal along the line
Where treetops break the skyline. A gust
Of dream blows me thither like dust.

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