UNDER THE ROWANS
GREEN branches, green branches, I see you beckon;
Sweet is the place you guard, there in the rowan—
There he lies in the darkness, under the frail
Heedless at last, in the silence, of these sweet midsummer
But sweeter, it may be, the moss whereon he is sleeping now.
And sweeter the fragrant flowers that may crown his moon-
And sweeter the shady place deep in an Eden hollow
Wherein he dreams I am with him—and, dreaming, whispers,
Green wind from the green-gold branches, what is the song
What are all songs for me, now, who no more care to sing?
Deep in the heart of Summer, sweet is life to me still,
But my heart is a lonely hunter that hunts on a lonely hill.
Green is that hill and lonely, set far in a shadowy place;
White is the hunter’s quarry, a lost loved human face:
O hunting heart, shall you find it, with arrow of failing breath
Led o’er a green hill lonely by the shadowy hound of Death?
Green branches, green branches, you sing of a sorrow olden
But now it is midsummer weather, earth-young, sun-ripe,
Here I stand and I wait, here in the rowan-tree hollow,
But never a green leaf whispers, ‘Follow, oh, Follow, Follow!’
Macleod, Fiona. “Under the Rowans.” The Evergreen: A Northern Seasonal, vol. 3, Summer 1896, pp. 135-136. Evergreen Digital Edition, edited by Lorraine Janzen Kooistra, 2016-2018. Yellow Nineties 2.0, General Editor Lorraine Janzen Kooistra, Ryerson University Centre for Digital Humanities, 2019. https://1890s.ca/egv3_macleod_rowans/