2161 - The Way Through the Woods
They shut the road through the woods
Seventy years ago.
Weather and rain have undone it again,
And now you would never know
There once was a road through the woods
Before they planted the trees.
It is underneath in 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 are 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.
© José Pacheco Pereira