In forest poems, we find a deep appreciation for the natural world, exploring the ways in which trees, wildlife, and the earth themselves come together to create an awe-inspiring tapestry of life.
These poems about forests offer a unique perspective on the world around us, inviting us to slow down and take a closer look at the beauty that lies just beyond our doorstep.
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Best Forest Poems
These iconic best poems about forests have become touchstones for those seeking to explore the magic and mystery of the forest, offering insights into the many meanings that can be found in the natural world.
1. The Comfort of the Woods
by Amos Russel Wells
I understand my comrades of the woods,
And they know me completely. Not an oak
But is my brother, strong, reserved, sincere.
Along the happy, peaceful forest ways
That wind so intimately through the trees
I hold a calm communion with my friends,
The pines and gentle birches. Day by day
Insensibly the bond is closer drawn
With beckonings of branches, waftitures
Of subtle fragrance, melodies of birds,
Flickers of sunlight on the level leaves,
A thousand sweet enchantments pure and good.
This air dissolves my fretfulness and fears;
They fall into the green depths of the dell,
The cheery brooklet carries them away,
The bushes brush them off. I enter here
With furrowed brow and heavy-burdened heart;
But little unseen hands are softly pressed
Upon the frowns, and little unseen hands
Tug at the burdens till they all are gone.
Ah, what am I that these my friends
Should minister to me so graciously?
Do they not know my follies and my sin?
Yet with a mother’s blind, forgiving love
They cleanse the foulnesses they will not see.
Nor do they only wait for me to come,
Withdrawn, expectant; but amid the din
Of cities, and upon the crowded streets,
I feel the brick and mortar fade away,
Aud find the woods around me once again,
Tall, shadowy, protecting, Once again
I hear the woodland murmurs like a hymn,
And on my troubled spirit lies once more
The peaceful benediction of the trees.
2. King Forest
by Ruby Archer
King Forest is throned upon shadows,
His locks are wide-blown by the wind,
All fairies proclaim his dominion,—
His rule in no law is defined.
His words are the birds and the runlets,
His bed is the dream-woven sod;
How gladly we honor his scepter,
And bow to his blossomy rod!
And would you be one of his kingdom?
Cringe never, nor humble your knees.
But come with your lips tuned to singing,
And love in your heart for the trees.
To feel is the price of his favor—
How easy to fill his behest!
The tribute of courtier is silence,
The service of minion is—rest.
3. Forest Music
by Hannah Flagg Gould
There’s a sad loneliness about my heart,—
A deep, deep solitude the spirit feels
Amid this multitude. The things of art
Pall on the senses—from its pageantry,
Loathing, my eye turns off; and my ear shrinks
From the harsh dissonance that fills the air.
My soul is growing sick—I will away
And gather balm from a sweet forest walk!
There, as the breezes through the branches sweep,
Is heard aerial minstrelsy, like harps
Untouched, unseen, that on the spirit’s ear
Pour out their numbers till they lull to peace
The tumult of the bosom. There’s a voice
Of music in the rustling of the leaves;
And the green boughs are hung with living lutes,
Whose strings will only vibrate to his hand
Who made them, while they sound his untaught praise!
The whole wild wood is one vast instrument
Of thousand, thousand keys; and all its notes
Come in sweet harmony, while Nature plays
To celebrate the presence of her God!
4. The God of the Wood
by Bliss Carman
Here all the forces of the wood
As one converge,
To make the soul of solitude
Where all things merge.
The sun, the rain-wind, and the rain,
The visiting moon,
The hurrying cloud by peak and plain,
Each with its boon.
Here power attains perfection still
In mighty ease,
That the great earth may have her will
Of joy and peace.
And so through me, the mortal born
Of plasmic clay,
Immortal powers, kind, fierce, forlorn,
And glad, have sway.
Eternal passions, ardors fine,
And monstrous fears,
Rule and rebel, serene, malign,
Or loosed in tears;
Until at last they shall evolve
From griefs and joys
Some steady light, some firm resolve.
Some Godlike poise.
5. Woods in Winter
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
When winter winds are piercing chill,
And through the hawthorn blows the gale,
With solemn feet I tread the hill,
That overbrows the lonely vale.
O’er the bare upland, and away
Through the long reach of desert woods,
The embracing sunbeams chastely play,
And gladden these deep solitudes.
Where, twisted round the barren oak,
The summer vine in beauty clung,
And summer winds the stillness broke,
The crystal icicle is hung.
Where, from their frozen urns, mute springs
Pour out the river’s gradual tide,
Shrilly the skater’s iron rings,
And voices fill the woodland side.
Alas! how changed from the fair scene,
When birds sang out their mellow lay,
And winds were soft, and woods were green,
And the song ceased not with the day!
But still wild music is abroad,
Pale, desert woods! within your crowd;
And gathering winds, in hoarse accord,
Amid the vocal reeds pipe loud.
Chill airs and wintry winds! my ear
Has grown familiar with your song;
I hear it in the opening year,
I listen, and it cheers me long.
6. The Clearing
by Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts
Stumps, and harsh rocks, and prostrate trunks all charred,
And gnarled roots naked to the sun and rain,—
They seem in their grim stillness to complain,
And be their paint the evening peace is jarred.
These ragged acres fire and the axe have scarred,
And many summers not assuaged their pain.
In vain the pink and saffron light, in vain
The pale dew on the hillocks stripped and marred!
But here and there the waste is touched with cheer
Where spreads the fire-weed like a crimson flood
And venturous plumes of golden-rod appear;
And round the blackened fence the great boughs lean
With comfort; and across the solitude
The hermit’s holy transport peals serene.
7. The Forest on the Shore
by The Forest on the Shore
O chosen land of liberty,
I love, of all, the most
The splendor of thy forest tree
That waves to him across the sea
A welcome to thy coast.
Its spreading branches typify
The nation’s open arms,
vVhere heavy-laden soul may lie
And know that no oppressor’s cry
Shall wake it to alarms.
Its leaves a-tremble sing the song
A mother croons at eve;
They sing triumphant over wrong,
They cheer the lagging feet along
And soothe the hearts that grieve.
For this thy emblem, land of mine,
The forest on the shore—
Thy singing spruce and giant pine
And all that grand and regal line
That lives forevermore.
And he who comes from overseas
Shall hear its minstrelsy,
Shall hear upon the evening breeze
That rustles through the leafy trees
The music of the free.
And he shall feel the holy calm
These altared shores invoke,
Behold, ‘mid tones of freedom’s psalm
A land as peaceful as the palm,
Enduring as the oak.
8. A Forest Episode
by Anne Reeve Aldrich
In my forest grew an oak,
King among the wood land folk.
Proudly rose his lofty head,
Mightily his boughs were spread.
Just a little breeze one day
Touched his leaves in wanton play,
Round him in a frolic ran,
That was how the storm began.
Just that little breeze awoke
Longing in the lusty oak.
All the leaves sighed; “Come again!”
Nor was the amorous prayer in vain,
For the breeze, in one short hour
Came in conquering whirlwind’s power,
And the heart of oak was riven,
With one flash of fire from heaven.
Funny Forest Poems
These funny poems about forests use humor and irony to explore the lighter side of the forest, poking fun at the quirks and idiosyncrasies of the natural world.
1. Human Folly
by Sneha Rv
Forests are felled
There once dwelled life –
Now quelled by greed.
Pulp to paper –
The razor tears
Through curtained flesh
Let’s laud our wit –
Bark – on it.. We
have writ ‘Save trees’!
2. My Very Own Tree Stump
by Barbara Gorelick
He really was as dumb as a tree stump
Carried all his weight in his big old rump
But I fell for his line
And made him all mine
‘Cause he was as sweet as dear Forest Gump
3. Walked into A Tree
by Jack Ellison
One two three silly old me
Went for a walk, walked into a tree
Who put that there
A conspiracy I swear
Or maybe a pretty girl distracted me you see
by Luo Zhihai
Night silent, the dew sparkling and crystal-clear
After rain, the forest emerald green and sunny
The spring flowers in true nature
All the autumn leaves are funny
Famous Forest Poems
These famous poems about forest have stood the test of time, inspiring generations of poets and nature lovers with their celebration of the forest and its many wonders.
1. Woodland Rain
by Bliss Carman
Shining, shining children
Of the summer rain,
Racing down the valley,
Sweeping o’er the plain!
Rushing through the forest,
Pelting on the leaves,
Drenching down the meadow
With its standing sheaves;
Robed in royal silver,
Girt with jewels gay,
With a gust of gladness
You pass upon your way.
Fresh, ah, fresh behind you,
Sunlit and impearled,
As it was in Eden,
Lies the lovely world!
2. New England Woods
by Amos Russel Wells
New England woods are fair of face,
And warm with tender, homely grace,
Not vast with tropic mystery,
Nor scant with arctic poverty,
But fragrant with familiar balm,
And happy in a household calm.
And such O land of shining star
Hitched to a cart! thy poets are,
So wonted to the common ways
Of level nights and busy days,
Yet painting hackneyed toll and ease
With glories of the Pleiades.
For Bryant is an aged oak,
Beloved of Time, and sober folk;
And Whittler, a hickory,
The workman’s and the children’s tree;
And Lowell is a maple decked
With autumn splendor circumspect.
Clear Longfellow’s an elm benign,
With fluent grace in every line
And Holmes, the cheerful birch intent;
On frankest, whitest merriment
While Emerson’s high councils rise;
A pine, communing with the skies.
3. The Heart O’ The Woods
by John Burroughs
I hear it beat in morning still
When April skies have lost their gloom,
And through the woods there runs a thrill
That wakes arbutus into bloom.
I hear it throb in sprouting May —
A muffled murmur on the breeze,
Like mellow thunder leagues away,
Or booming voice of distant seas.
Or when the autumn leaves are shed,
And frosts attend the fading year,
Like secret mine sprung by my tread
A covey bursts from hiding near.
I feel its pulse ‘mid winter snows,
And feel my own with added force,
When partridge drops his cautious pose,
And forward takes his humming course.
The startled birches shake their curls,
A withered leaf leaps in the breeze;
Some hidden mortar speaks, and hurls
Its feathered missile through the trees.
Compact of life, of fervent wing,
A dynamo of feathered power,
Thy drum is music in the spring,
Thy flight is music every hour.
4. Forest Moods
by Archibald Lampman
There is singing of birds in the deep wet woods,
In the heart of the listening solitudes,
Pewees, and thrushes, and sparrows, not few,
And all the notes of their throats are true.
The thrush from the innermost ash takes on
A tender dream of the treasured and gone;
But the sparrow singeth with pride and cheer
Of the might and light of the present and here.
There is shining of flowers in the deep wet woods,
In the heart of the sensitive solitudes,
The roseate bell and the lily are there,
And every leaf of their sheaf is fair.
Careless and bold, without dream of woe,
The trilliums scatter their flags snow;
But the pale wood-daffodil covers her face,
Agloom with the doom of a sorrowful race.
5. The Fir Woods
by Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts
The wash of endless waves is in their tops,
Endlessly swaying, and the long winds stream
Athwart them from the far-off shores of dream.
Through the stirred branches filtering, faintly drops
Mystic dream-dust of isle, and palm, and cave,
Coral and sapphire, realms of rose, that seem
More radiant than ever earthly gleam
Revealed of fairy mead or haunted wave.
A cloud of gold, a cleft of blue profound,—
These are my gates of wonder, surged about
By tumult of tossed bough and rocking crest:
The vision lures. The spirit spurns her bound,
Spreads her unprisoned wing, and drifts from out
This green and humming gloom that wraps my rest.
6. Frost on A Window
by Grace Hazard Conkling
This forest looks the way
Tall larches lilt and sway
Above the glittering ground:
The wild white cherry spray
Scatters radiance round.
The chuckle of the nightingale
Is like this elfin wood.
Even as his gleaming trills assail
The spirit’s solitude,
These leaves of light, these branches frail
Are music’s very mood.
The song of these fantastic trees,
The plumes of frost they wear,
Are for the poet’s whim who sees
Through a deceptive air,
And has an ear for melodies
When never a sound is there.
7. The Woods in May
by Ellwood Roberts
There dwells a subtle fragrance
Within the woods of May,
That baffles all description,
Inviting us to stay.
Aroma of the spring-time.
Of bursting buds it tells,
Of wild flowers bright unfolding
From out their tiny cells.
The new-born leaves a tender
And brilliant green display;
When come the heats of summer,
It quickly flies away.
Among the trees we wander,
With sense of keen delight;
We may not feel it later,
Though sunshine be as bright.
Sweet Nature’s resurrection
From Winter’s ice and snow,
Fills woods of May with beauty
Beyond all else we know.
The fragrant honeysuckle,
And dogwood flowers white,
Bloom here in all their glory,
A vision of delight.
How natural to linger
Among the woods of May,
So many wonders are there,
Inviting us to stay.
Each bush and tree has treasures
Of leaf, or bud, or flower;
No art there is like Nature’s,
When she exerts her power.
A tender, new-born glory,
The leaflets all display,
There dwells a subtle fragrance
Around our path to-day;
It bids us pause and linger,
Ere it be gone for aye.
What joy and peace and sweetness
Within the woods of May!
8. The Lumberjack
by Douglas Malloch
An untamed creature of the forest wilds,
He lives to that wild place a soul akin—
A man whose days are often steeped in sin,
And yet whose heart is tender as a child’s.
His strength is like the strength of mighty pines,
His outward form a bark of many scars;
His head he carries proudly in the stars,
The while his feet are meshed in tangled vines.
Calamities throw viselike tendrils out
To seize him in their hindering embrace;
The thorns of wrong whip sharply in his face
And poisoned things encompass him about.
He braves disease, the storm, the falling tree,
The mad, quick water that would hold and drown;
But all earth’s terrors cannot bear him down
Or make this man of dangers bend the knee.
He breathes the air the sturdy maple breathes,
He walks the soil the selfsame maple feeds;
To forest sources looks he for his needs—
Oh, where are trees and men like unto these?
Short Forest Poems
These short poetries about forest capture the essence of the forest in just a few lines, offering insights into its beauty and complexity.
1. Winter Woods
by Eleanor Hammond
The winter wood is like a strong old man,
Grizzled, rugged, and gray,
With long white locks tattered by many storms.
He lifts gnarled arms defiant of the blasts,
And rears his old head proudly
Under the menace of the winter sky.
2. The Forest
by The Forest
The forest is the town of trees
Where they live quite at their ease,
With their neighbors at their side
Just as we in cities wide.
3. Who Robbed the Woods
by Emily Dickinson
Who robbed the woods,
The trusting woods?
The unsuspecting trees
Brought out their burrs and mosses
His fantasy to please.
He scanned their trinkets, curious,
He grasped, he bore away.
What will the solemn hemlock,
What will the fir-tree say?
4. The Creed of the Wood
by Katharine Lee Bates
A whiff of forest scent,
Balsam and fern,
Won from dreary mood
My heart’s return,
From its discontent,
To the sweet, wise wood
And the laughing day.
Simple as dew and gleam
Is the creed of the wood!
The Beautiful gave us life,
And life is good.
Be the world but a dream,
Let the world go shod
With peace, not strife,
For the Dreamer is God.
5. The Oak-Wood
by Nicolaus Lenau
Beneath the holy oaks I wandered
Through twilight aisles where, soft and mild,
I heard a brook, which there meandered,
Keep lisping like a praying child.
With tremors sweet my heart did flutter;
The forest rustled weird and low,
As if it fain would something utter
Which yet I had no right to know;
As if it were about revealing
The secret of God’s thought and will,
When suddenly, His nearness feeling,
It seemed affrightened—and grew still.
6. Grey Woods
by Alice Corbin Henderson
Silence is heavy and somber in the grey woods,
The leaves of time drop stealthily one by one;
Dim twilight comes with a shadowy reaping hook
To gather the fading daylight and dead leaves.
Though no winds blow in the grey woods of my heart,
The leaves of time drop stealthily one by one;
A shadowy twilight falls over the shadowy woods—
My body is too frail for its great moods.
by Georgia Douglas Johnson
I rest me deep within the wood,
Drawn by its silent call,
Far from the throbbing crowd of men
On nature’s breast I fall.
My couch is sweet with blossoms fair,
A bed of fragrant dreams,
And soft upon my ear there falls
The lullaby of streams.
The tumult of my heart is stilled,
Within this sheltered spot,
Deep in the bosom of the wood,
Long Forest Poems
These long poetries about forest offer a deep and complex exploration of the forest, delving deep into its many dimensions and meanings.
1. Autumn Woods
by William Cullen Bryant
Ere, in the northern gale,
The summer tresses of the trees are gone,
The woods of Autumn, all around our vale
Have put their glory on.
The mountains that infold,
In their wide sweep, the coloured landscape round.
Seem groups of giant kings, in purple and gold,
That guard the enchanted ground.
I roam the woods that crown
The upland, where the mingled splendours glow,
Where the gay company of trees look down
On the green fields below.
My steps are not alone
In these bright walks; the sweet southwest, at play,
Flies, rustling, where the painted leaves are strewn
Along the winding way.
And far in heaven, the while,
The sun, that sends that gale to wander here,
Pours out on the fair earth his quiet smile,—
The sweetest of the year.
Where now the solemn shade,
Verdure and gloom where many branches meet;
So grateful, when the noon of summer made
The valleys sick with heat?
Let in through all the trees
Come the strange rays; the forest depths are bright;
Their sunny-coloured foliage, in the breeze,
Twinkles, like beams of light.
The rivulet, late unseen,
Where bickering through the shrubs its waters run,
Shines with the image of its golden screen,
And glimmerings of the sun.
But ‘neath yon crimson tree,
Lover to listening maid might breathe his flame,
Nor mark, within its roseate canopy,
Her blush of maiden shame.
Oh, Autumn! why so soon
Depart the hues that make thy forests glad;
Thy gentle wind and thy fair sunny noon,
And leave thee wild and sad!
Ah! ’twere a lot too blessed
For ever in thy coloured shades to stray;
Amid the kisses of the soft southwest
To rove and dream for aye;
And leave the vain low strife
That makes men mad—the tug for wealth and power,
The passions and the cares that wither life,
And waste its little hour.
2. Forest Song
by William Henry Venable
A song for the beautiful trees!
A song for the forest grand,
The Garden of God’s own hand,
The pride of His centuries.
Hurrah! for the kingly oak,
For the maple, the sylvan queen,
For the lords of the emerald cloak,
For the ladies in golden green.
For the beautiful trees a song!
The peers of a glorious realm,
The linden, the ash, and the elm,
The poplar stately and strong,—
For the birch and the hemlock trim,
For the hickory staunch at core,
For the locust thorny and grim,
For the silvery sycamore.
A song for the palm,—the pine,
And for every tree that grows,
From the desolate zone of snows
To the zone of the burning line;
Hurrah! for the warders proud
Of the mountainside and the vale,
That challenge the thunder-cloud
And buffet the stormy gale.
A song for the forest, aisled,
With its Gothic roof sublime,
The solemn temple of Time,
Where man becometh a child,
As he listens the anthem-roll
Of the voiceful winds that call,
In the solitude of his soul,
On the name of the All-in-All.
So long as the rivers flow,
So long as the mountains rise,
May the foliage drink of the skies;
And shelter the flowers below;
Hurrah! for the beautiful trees!
Hurrah! for the forest grand,
The pride of His centuries,
The Garden of God’s own hand.
3. Maine Woods
by Rachel Pomeroy
May-flower from over the sea,
With the bloom still bright on your lips,
And a hint of odor lingering yet
In your delicate petal tips;
Nursling shy of a season wild,
Nature’s first and fairest child.
You have come so far, so far,
Tender, beautiful thing,
Out of the sharp New England woods,
And a frosty northern spring,
Yet bringing, methinks, the woodland smell,
Whose spicy wealth I know so well.
Your perfume smote on my sense
Like a delicate, dim complaint;
Subtle meanings seem to hide
In the woodland murmurs faint,
And the city gleaming across the bay
In smoke and shadow faded away.
For one amazing hour
The dull world dies to me,
Sky, tree-top, sudden bird-note grow
Life’s sole reality,
And O, to have staid there all alone,
Afar from tiresome school and town!
Flower and I were one,
Earth held us to her heart,
Her fragrant breath was on our brows—
But she let her babes depart;
Stealer and stolen went their ways,
Yet she loved us both in those old days.
Yet, O enchanted Mays,
O woodland odors wild,
Have you ever missed from then to now
The happy-hearted child
That went so blithe through yonder wood,
Your sun and bloom in her dancing blood?
Nay, nature spares us well,
She’s our foster-mother at best;
‘Tis never she that needs our love,
But we that need her rest;
So she gathers us back to her veins at last,
And new life comes to repeat the past.
But, O forests fair, as of old,
And May-blossoms over the sea,
O merry children despoiling both,
You all belong to me—
For into the past ye slip away,
And lo, the dead years bloom to-day!
4. Forest Hymn
by William Cullen Bryant
The groves were God’s first temples. Ere man learned
To hew the shaft, and lay the architrave,
And spread the roof above them,—ere he framed
The lofty vault, to gather and roll back
The sound of anthems; in the darkling wood.
Amidst the cool and silence, he knelt down
And offered to the Mightiest, solemn thanks
And supplication. For his simple heart
Might not resist the sacred influences,
Which, from the stilly twilight of the place,
And from the gray old trunks that high in heaven
Mingled their mossy boughs, and from the sound
Of the invisible breath that swayed at once
All their green tops, stole over him, and bowed
His spirit with the thought of boundless power
And inaccessible majesty. Ah, why
Should we, in the world’s riper years, neglect
God’s ancient sanctuaries, and adore
Only among the crowd, and under roofs
That our frail hands have raised. Let me, at least,
Here, in the shadow of this aged wood,
Offer one hymn—thrice happy, if it find
Acceptance in his ear.
Father, thy hand
Hath reared these venerable columns, thou
Didst weave this verdant roof. Thou didst look down
Upon the naked earth, and, forthwith, rose
All these fair ranks of trees. They, in thy sun,
Budded, and shook their green leaves in thy breeze,
And shot towards heaven. The century-living crow,
Whose birth was in their tops, grew old and died
Among their branches, till, at last, they stood,
As now they stand, massy, and tall, and dark,
Fit shrine for humble worshipper to hold
Communion with his Maker. These dim vaults,
These winding aisles, of human pomp or pride
Report not. No fantastic carvings show,
The boast of our vain race to change the form
Of thy fair works. But thou art here—thou fill’st
The solitude. Thou art in the soft winds,
That run along the summit of these trees
In music;—thou art in the cooler breath,
That from the inmost darkness of the place,
Comes, scarcely felt;—the barky trunks, the ground,
The fresh moist ground, are all instinct with thee.
Here is continual worship;—nature, here,
In the tranquillity that thou dost love,
Enjoys thy presence. Noiselessly, around,
From perch to perch, the solitary bird
Passes; and yon clear spring, that, ‘midst its herbs,
Wells softly forth and visits the strong roots
Of half the mighty forest, tells no tale
Of all the good it does. Thou hast not left
Thyself without a witness, in these shades,
Of thy perfections. Grandeur, strength, and grace
Are here to speak of thee. This mighty oak—
By whose immoveable stem I stand and seem
Almost annihilated—not a prince,
In all that proud old world beyond the deep,
E’er wore his crown as loftily as he
Wears the green coronal of leaves with which
Thy hand has graced him. Nestled at his root
Is beauty, such as blooms not in the glare
Of the broad sun. That delicate forest flower
With scented breath, and look so like a smile,
Seems, as it issues from the shapeless mould,
An emanation of the indwelling Life,
A visible token of the upholding Love,
That are the soul of this wide universe.
My heart is awed within me, when I think
Of the great miracle that still goes on,
In silence, round me—the perpetual work
Of thy creation, finished, yet renewed
For ever. Written on thy works I read
The lesson of thy own eternity.
Lo! all grow old and die—but see, again,
How on the faltering footsteps of decay
Youth presses—ever gay and beautiful youth
In all its beautiful forms. These lofty trees
Wave not less proudly that their ancestors
Moulder beneath them. Oh, there is not lost
One of earth’s charms: upon her bosom yet,
After the flight of untold centuries,
The freshness of her far beginning lies
And yet shall lie. Life mocks the idle hate
Of his arch enemy Death—yea, seats himself
Upon the tyrant’s throne—the sepulchre,
And of the triumphs of his ghastly foe
Makes his own nourishment. For he came forth
From thine own bosom, and shall have no end.
There have been holy men who hid themselves
Deep in the woody wilderness, and gave
Their lives to thought and prayer, till they outlived
The generation born with them, nor seemed
Less aged than the hoary trees and rocks
Around them;—and there have been holy men
Who deemed it were not well to pass life thus.
But let me often to these solitudes
Retire, and in thy presence reassure
My feeble virtue. Here its enemies,
The passions, at thy plainer footsteps shrink
And tremble and are still. Oh, God! when thou
Dost scare the world with tempests, set on fire
The heavens with falling thunderbolts, or fill,
With all the waters of the firmament,
The swift dark whirlwind that uproots the woods
And drowns the villages; when, at thy call,
Uprises the great deep and throws himself
Upon the continent, and overwhelms
Its cities—who forgets not, at the sight
Of these tremendous tokens of thy power,
His pride, and lays his strifes and follies by?
Oh, from these sterner aspects of thy face
Spare me and mine, nor let us need the wrath
Of the mad unchained elements to teach
Who rules them. Be it ours to meditate
In these calm shades thy milder majesty,
And to the beautiful order of thy works
Learn to conform the order of our lives.
5. The Forest Fire
by Douglas Malloch
At first a spark that slumbered in the leaves;
And then a tiny blaze that glowed afar—
A distant blaze that seemed a fallen star,
A single grain from heaven’s silver sheaves.
The morn a smoke-plume on the hill revealed,
That marked the first insidious advance.
The night came down, and found the fiery lance
Sunk deeper in the mountain’s verdant shield.
Then came long days that melted into night
And left the sky in lurid color dressed;
The sun set slowly in the vapored west,
A copper oval of distorted light.
The primal blaze threw its increasing line
Across the mountain’s wooded side until
Re-echoed mournfully from hill to hill
The thunder of the stricken giant pine.
Oft skyward blazed a solitary tree,
A vivid instant dimmed all other fire—
Like souls of mighty men, when they expire
Prove greatest, even in adversity.
And, when the fury of the fiend was spent,
Burned out the fullness of its torrid wrath,
It left behind a devastated path—
To human carelessness a monument.
O ye who love the richly verdured hill,
Who wander through the tangled woodland ways;
O ye who know the worth of summer days
And love the music of the mountain rill;
Ye who convert the tree to purpose new,
To final, destined and most proper use,
Play ye no part, I pray, in this abuse,
Have not the burden of the blame on you.
First learn, yourselves, the best considered plan,
Then teach the careless what their duties are,
And never more the running flame shall scar
These timbered hills, God’s generous gift to man.
6. The Forest Reverie
by Edgar Allan Poe
’Tis said that when
The hands of men
Tamed this primeval wood,
And hoary trees with groans of wo,
Like warriors by an unknown foe,
Were in their strength subdued,
The virgin Earth
Gave instant birth
To springs that ne’er did flow
That in the sun
Did rivulets run,
And all around rare flowers did blow
The wild rose pale
Perfumed the gale,
And the queenly lily adown the dale
(Whom the sun and the dew
And the winds did woo),
With the gourd and the grape luxuriant grew.
So when in tears
The love of years
Is wasted like the snow,
And the fine fibrils of its life
By the rude wrong of instant strife
Are broken at a blow
Within the heart
Do springs upstart
Of which it doth now know,
And strange, sweet dreams,
Like silent streams
That from new fountains overflow,
With the earlier tide
Of rivers glide
Deep in the heart whose hope has died
Quenching the fires its ashes hide,
Its ashes, whence will spring and grow
Sweet flowers, ere long,
The rare and radiant flowers of song!
Forest Poems That Rhyme
These poems use rhyme and meter to create a musical tribute to the forest, using language to enhance the emotional impact of the poems. Here are some poems about forest with rhyme.
by Amos Russel Wells
New England woods are softly fair,
And many marvels gather there—
The flaming hush the soaring pine,
The shining birch, the swinging vine;
But lord of all the varied scene
I rank the lowly wintergreen.
Its glossy little leaves are found
Close creeping on the humble ground,
But all the sweetness of the wood,
Its fragrant quaintness firm and good,
Its charms that dazzle and enchant,
Are centred in the modest plant.
Those thick and lustrous leaves contain
The essence of this dear domain,
Its flavor, kindly, pungent, keen,
The homely taste of wintergreen,
Its flower a Puritanic white,
Its berry scarlet for delight.
How sturdily it lifts its head
And shows its glowing green and red!
How through the winter cold and hare
It still is fragrant, fresh, and fair,
And, like its own New England, knows
A grace that shines in deepest snows!
2. Stopping By Woods on A Snowy Evening
by Robert Frost
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
3. In A Northern Wood
by Katharine Lee Bates
Fragrant are the cedar-boughs stretching green and level,
Feasting-halls where waxwings flit at their spicy revel,
But O the pine, the questing pine, that flings its arms on high
To search the secret of the sun and escalade the sky!
Rueful hemlocks, gaunt and old, with boughs a-droop, despairing,
Clutch for touch of mother-earth; the while the pine is daring
To rock the stars amid its cones and lull them with its croon,
And snare the silver eagle that is nested in the moon.
4. An August Wood Road
by Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts
August When the partridge coveys fly
In the birch-tops cool and high;
When the dry cicadas twang
Where the purpling fir-cones hang;
When the bunch-berries emboss—
Scarlet beads—the roadside moss;
Brown with shadows, bright with sun,
All day long till day is done
Sleeps in murmuring solitude
The worn old road that threads the wood.
In its deep cup—grassy, cool—
Sleeps the little roadside pool;
Sleeps the butterfly on the weed,
Sleeps the drifted thistle-seed.
Like a great and blazing gem,
Basks the beetle on the stem.
Up and down the shining rays
Dancing midges weave their maze.
High among the moveless boughs,
Drunk with day, the night-hawks drowse.
Far up, unfathomably blue,
August’s heaven vibrates through.
The old road leads to all things good;
The year’s at full, and time’s at flood.
by Douglas Malloch
When some one has slipped you the dirk in the dark,
When eyes that are loving are lies,
When some one you trusted has made you a mark,
And somehow the heart in you dies,
There’s dirt for you, hurt for you, trouble enough
To shatter the faith of a man;
But don’t ever think there is trouble so tough
That you can’t overcome it—you can.
When living is losing its flavor to you,
When worry is making you old;
When there is no joy in the thing that you do
Nor truth in the thing you are told,
There’s balm for you, calm for you, out in the wild,
There’s hope for you up on the hill.
Get up in the timber and play like a child;
You can overcome it—you will.
Get up in the timber; the trail and the trees
Will make you a man in a day.
The smell of the soil and the breath of the breeze
Will blow all your troubles away.
There’s pine for you, wine for you, hope for you there—
The sun and the moon and the star—
If the ways of the city are not on the square,
Get up in the woods—where they are.
6. The Forest Morn
by Douglas Malloch
I sometimes think that thus was born the world—
Not like a blinding sun from chaos hurled
To blaze and burn for ages—that it woke
As wakes the forest, wakes the verdant oak,
Breathing soft breezes, wreathed in lacy mist
Through which there burst the gleam of amethyst.
The forest morn! Across the night profound
Steals now the music of harmonious sound—
The bird’s faint twitter, sleepy, sleepy still,
The bird’s first carol, sweet, all sweet and shrill;
And down through branches, poured in generous streams,
Come tints of dawn, the colors of our dreams.
7. The Mill in the Forest
by Douglas Malloch
While twittering songsters yet announce the morn
And all the wood is wondrous calm and still,
Upon the zephyr tremulous is borne
The waking rumble of the forest mill.
The great wheel moves; the foaming waters pour
On waiting sands in crystal melody;
The saw’s high treble and the pulley’s roar
Are mingled in a song of industry.
Now through the day the busy millwheel turns;
And through the day the saw untiring sings,
Nor rests till red and gold the sunset burns
And blaze and gilt on all the landscape flings.
But, as the orb of day slips down the west,
The waters turn to other ways more still;
The weary wheel at last subsides to rest
And peace comes down upon the silent mill.
A yellow moon arises o’er the trees,
The little stars, with eyes half-timid, peep;
Night brings her black and somber tapestries
And wraps the forest and the mill in sleep.
Forest Poems for Kids
These forest poems for children capture the wonder and magic of the forest through the eyes of a child, celebrating the joy and mystery that it can evoke.
1. In the Forest
by Oscar Wilde
Out of the mid-wood’s twilight
Into the meadow’s dawn,
Ivory limbed and brown-eyed,
Flashes my Faun!
He skips through the copses singing,
And his shadow dances along,
And I know not which I should follow,
Shadow or song!
O Hunter, snare me his shadow!
O Nightingale, catch me his strain!
Else moonstruck with music and madness
I track him in vain!
2. The Tyger
by William Blake
Tyger Tyger, burning bright,
In the forests of the night;
What immortal hand or eye,
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
In what distant deeps or skies.
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand, dare seize the fire?
And what shoulder, and what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? and what dread feet?
What the hammer? what the chain,
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp,
Dare its deadly terrors clasp!
When the stars threw down their spears
And watered heaven with their tears:
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?
Tyger Tyger burning bright,
In the forests of the night:
What immortal hand or eye,
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?
by Sara Coleridge
The Oak is called the King of trees,
The Aspen quivers in the breeze,
The Poplar grows up straight and tall,
The Peach tree spreads along the wall,
The Sycamore gives pleasant shade,
The Willow droops in watery Glade,
The Fir tree useful timber gives,
The Beech amid the forest lives.
4. The Ferns
by Gene Baro
High, high in the branches
the seawinds plunge and roar.
A storm is moving westward,
but here on the forest floor,
the ferns have captured stillness.
A green sea growth they are.
The ferns lie underwater
In a light of the forest’s green.
Their motion is like stillness,
As if water shifts between
And a great storm quivers
Through fathoms of green.
5. The Forest
The forest smells like blooming flowers
And it feels like April showers.
I can taste the rain falling from the sky.
I hear the butterflies’ wings flapping by.
I see that everything is
Forest Poems about Trees
These poems about woods, trees, and forests, celebrate the majesty and beauty of trees, recognizing their importance to the forest ecosystem and to the planet as a whole.
1. Binsey Poplars
My aspens dear, whose airy cages quelled,
Quelled or quenched in leaves the leaping sun,
All felled, felled, are all felled;
Of a fresh and following folded rank
Not spared, not one
That dandled a sandalled
Shadow that swam or sank
On meadow and river and wind-wandering weed-winding bank.
O if we but knew what we do
When we delve or hew –
Hack and rack the growing green!
Since country is so tender
To touch, her being so slender,
That, like this sleek and seeing ball
But a prick will make no eye at all,
Where we, even where we mean
To mend her we end her,
When we hew or delve:
After-comers cannot guess the beauty been.
Ten or twelve, only ten or twelve
Strokes of havoc unselve
The sweet especial scene,
Rural scene, a rural scene,
Sweet especial rural scene.
2. Loveliest of Trees, The Cherry Now
by A. E. Housman
Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.
Now, of my threescore years and ten,
Twenty will not come again,
And take from seventy springs a score,
It only leaves me fifty more.
And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs are little room,
About the woodlands I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.
3. A Poison Tree
by William Blake
I was angry with my friend:
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe:
I told it not, my wrath did grow.
And I watered it in fears.
Night and morning with my tears:
And I sunned it with smiles.
And with soft deceitful wiles.
And it grew both day and night.
Till it bore an apple bright.
And my foe beheld it shine.
And he knew that it was mine.
And into my garden stole.
When the night had veild the pole;
In the morning glad I see;
My foe outstretchd beneath the tree.
4. The Forest
by William Morris
By woodman’s edge I faint and fail;
By craftsman’s edge I tell the tale.
High in the wood, high o’er the hall,
Aloft I rise when low I fall.
Unmoved I stand what wind may blow.
Swift, swift before the wind I go..
5. The Way Through the Woods
by Rudyard Kipling
They shut the road through the woods
Seventy years ago.
Weather and rain have undone it again,
And now you would never know
There was once a road through the woods
Before they planted the trees.
It is underneath the coppice and heath,
And the thin anemones.
Only the keeper sees
That, where the ring-dove broods,
And the badgers roll at ease,
There was once a road through the woods.
Yet, if you enter the woods
Of a summer evening late,
When the night-air cools on the trout-ringed pools
Where the otter whistles his mate,
(They fear not men in the woods,
Because they see so few.)
You will hear the beat of a horse’s feet,
And the swish of a skirt in the dew,
Steadily cantering through
The misty solitudes,
As though they perfectly knew
The old lost road through the woods.
But there is no road through the woods.
6. The Trees
The trees are corning into leaf
Like something almost being said;
The recent buds relax and spread,
Their greenness is a kind of grief.
Is it that they are born again
And we grow old? No they die too,
Their yearly trick of looking new
Is written down in rings of grain.
Yet still the unresting castles thresh
In fullgrown thickness every May.
Last year is dead, they seem to say,
Begin afresh, afresh, afresh.
by Edward Thomas
All day and night, save winter, every weather,
Above the inn, the smithy, and the shop,
The aspens at the cross-roads talk together
Of rain, until their last leaves fall from the top.
Out of the blacksmith’s cavern comes the ringing
Of hammer, shoe, and anvil; out of the inn
The clink, the hum, the roar, the random singing –
The sounds that for these fifty years have been.
The whisper of the aspens is not drowned,
And over lightless pane and footless road,
Empty as sky, with every other sound
Not ceasing, calls their ghosts from their abode,
A silent smithy, a silent inn, nor fails
In the bare moonlight or the thick-furred gloom,
In tempest or the night of nightingales,
To turn the cross-roads to a ghostly room.
And it would be the same were no house near.
Over all sorts of weather, men, and times,
Aspens must shake their leaves and men may hear
But need not listen, more than to my rhymes.
Whatever wind blows, while they and I have leaves
We cannot other than an aspen be
That ceaselessly, unreasonably grieves,
Or so men think who like a different tree.
Forest Poems and the Beauty of the Earth
These works use the forest as a metaphor for the wider natural world, celebrating the interconnectedness of all life and the beauty and wonder that can be found in the natural world.
1. The Forest’s Blessed Abode
by Belinda Stotler
Come, walk with me into the forest’s blessed abode,
To see the wondrous beauty the Earth has bestowed;
We’ll bask in the surreal splendor that surrounds us,
And listen to nature composing the forest’s grand opus,
As sounds of whispering trees and burbling streams,
Send our minds wandering into a poet’s lovely dreams.
We’ll walk where sunlight sets the forest’s leaves aglow,
Weaving open paths to dapple golden light on all below;
Where trees shade us from summer heat and harsh rays,
Freeing our minds so we can see Mother Nature’s ways,
Of creating nurturing sanctuaries for life dwelling there,
To shield its tender wards from storms too hard to bear.
Come sit beneath the glowing embers of an autumn tree,
Whose rich hues are a natural wonder many come to see,
While colorful leaves glide down in a whirling course,
Like embers breaking loose from their flaming source.
Glowing for a moment as if falling to their ending fate,
Instead, nourishing Earth for rebirth into a new state.
The wintering forest seems to be a still, desolate place.
Yet, under the snow and autumn leaves of a tree’s base,
Beats the promising pulse of new life that patiently waits
For spring’s warmth and rain to open wide nature’s gates;
Roam with me under the trees standing strong over it all,
To watch them quietly sleep until nature’s beckoning call.
Let us stroll in spring’s forest where we will reap
The joy of Earth awakening its children from sleep,
And hear life’s chorus and watch its offspring grow,
As waking trees renew their canopy over all below;
Come share with me the forest’s spirit at rebirth,
So we too are reborn within this temple of Earth.
Every now and then let us answer the forest’s call,
To come see life’s beauty and the miracle of it all;
If we listen with our hearts as we walk among trees,
We may understand the message carried on a breeze,
For us to blend with the forest’s spirit so it will beguile
Us into walking under its lovely trees for just a while.
2. My Wooded World
by Sheila Visingardi
As a child, I would sit and ponder
at the wooded areas, for their beauty relaxed me.
The sway of the branches and whistling of the winds,
as if they were calling my nahme.
Then as I grew older, they were my retreat,
for the woods became my own world,
a world full of imagination, creativity,
resourcefulness, as well as inspiration.
I loved my domain, for no problems were too great.
The woods protected me from everything.
The branches would open as to hold me.
The animals, in their busy ways, stopped to welcome me.
It was this place, my wooded world, that I lived for.
It is that place that beckons me now.
For it was only there, in them woods, I felt truly free,
as free as I would feel when your love would surround me.
3. The Beauty of A Tree
Can there be anything more lovely
Than the beauty of a tree?
Her leaves shimmering in the wind,
Dancing so gracefully.
The strength of her mighty roots
That grows deep into the earth.
She’s weathered every stormy gale
For all that she is worth.
Standing tall, resilient
With her branches lifted high,
She refused to bow, to break or bend
But reaches upward to the sky.
The beauty of the strength within
As she held her head up high.
Her strong resilient spirit
Grew wings and learned to fly.
by Lesley Elaine Greenwood
If I could take a brush and paint the mountains and the moors,
I would splash the hillsides yellow and cover them in gorse.
I’d take the finest needle and the darkest thread of green
And sew a line of bracken along the landscape. In-between
I’d lay a purple carpet of wild heather in the dells
And fringe the edge of all the woods with their pretty lilac bells.
I’d merge the bracken with the heather, mix their colours like the sea,
A green and purple ocean on my own rich tapestry.
Then I’d take a ball of soft, white wool and stitch a mass of daisy chains
Around the lush green meadows and up the sides of winding lanes.
I would stencil on the marshes, just like pure white china cups,
Some fragile water lilies and by the ponds, sweet buttercups.
I’d mix orange, reds and yellows planting poppies wild and free
Onto nature’s coloured canvas, my own rich tapestry.
In forest poems, we find a deep appreciation for the natural world and the beauty that surrounds us.
From the majesty of the trees to the whimsy of the wildlife, these works offer unique insights into the many dimensions of the forest and its impact on our lives.
Through humor, rhyme, and epic exploration, these forest poems take us on a journey into the heart of the forest, inviting us to slow down and take a closer look at the world around us.
By exploring the beauty and complexity of the forest, we come to appreciate the interconnectedness of all life and the importance of preserving the natural world for future generations.
So did you like these poems for forest?