Autumn Hickory Trees


I CAME upon a yellow hickory wood
On some tall ridge whose name I did not know,
And softly I came up and softly stood,
And there was nothing of the lands below
I’d started out to climb up there and see:
No marsh, no fields, no gleaming willow-line
Along the creek, or else this thing with me,
This saffron wonder, turned my wild eyes blind
To everything but autumn hickory trees,
And I could only stand among them, staring
My heart out at them, trembling in the knees,
My mouth gone dry: an earth-stained idiot glaring
Stupendous wonder at the yellow flood
Of leaves in that high, unsuspected wood.