SEEK you sorely, for a space,
Respite from the world’s dull fretting?
Come then to a secret place—
Man’s entanglements forgetting—
Deep within the forest dreaming,
Deep within its shadows cool,
Where the mountain waters streaming
Broaden to the placid beaming
Of a quiet pool.
Making here a great green tent,
Tea-tree bough and wattle bending—
As strong lovers’ arms are bent
Shielding beauty—droop, defending
This green sanctuary sleeping
In its soft green twilit day;
And a scrap of bright sky peeping
Thro’ the tall trees, sentry keeping,
Seems a world away.
Rage the tempest as it may
O’er the tree-tops, writhing, broiling;
Burn as may the burning day,
Frailer loveliness despoiling;
Summer’s scorn and Winter’s bluster
Seek in vain this hallowed spot
Lending its translucent lustre
To the nodding ferns that cluster
Many a mossy grot.
Steeply slope the banks above,
All the outer turmoil muting;
Softly, bush birds’ songs of love
Match an organ’s mellow fluting.
Here is peace past all conceiving
In this forest chancel, here
Spreads a grace that transmutes grieving
To hushed wonder, to believing
God is very near.