Sidney Lanier

(1842-1881 / Macon / Georgia)

A Ballad Of The Trees And The Master


Into the woods my Master went,
Clean forspent, forspent.
Into the woods my Master came,
Forspent with love and shame.
But the olives they were not blind to Him,
The little gray leaves were kind to Him:
The thorn-tree had a mind to Him
When into the woods He came.

Out of the woods my Master went,
And He was well content.
Out of the woods my Master came,
Content with death and shame.
When Death and Shame would woo Him last,
From under the trees they drew Him last:
'Twas on a tree they slew Him -- last
When out of the woods He came.

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

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  • Judith Hill (11/30/2009 7:57:00 PM)

    I have these words which I believe also belong to this poem. Is this correct? It would have to be the beginning of the poem.
    'Mary walked among the birch trees
    questioning each one.
    'Little birch trees, little white souls,
    Have you seen my son? '
    None made answer, none knew of him...... (Report) Reply

  • Jerry L Ogles (12/5/2007 5:47:00 AM)

    Dear Lecie:
    There certainly is a biblical aspect to this poem of Lanier's. As a matter of fact, it was made into a hymn and can be found, I believe, in the 1940 Hymnal of the Episcopal Church (PECUSA, not ECUSA) .
    It is a beautiful expression of Christ's sacrifice and final victory for us.
    Jerry (*___~) (Report) Reply

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