by Wendell Berry
Slowly, slowly, they return
To the small woodland let alone:
Great trees, outspreading and upright,
Apostles of the living light.
Patient as stars, they build in air
Tier after tier a timbered choir,
Stout beams upholding weightless grace
Of song, a blessing on this place.
They stand in waiting all around,
Uprisings of their native ground,
Downcomings of the distant light;
They are the advent they await.
Receiving sun and giving shade,
Their life’s a benefaction made,
And is a benediction said
Over the living and the dead.
In fall their brightened leaves, released,
Fly down the wind, and we are pleased
To walk on radiance, amazed.
0 light come down to earth, be praised!
A choral rendering by Malcolm Dalglish: