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When the deer come down to drink,
Their antlers shake the dark wild cherries;
The moss in which their small hoves sink
Is gemmed with scarlet partridge-berries.


They glide where waves of bracken veil
Some fallen forest king's disaster,
Or Indian-pipe are clustered pale
On stems of moonlit alabaster.


The bucks with proud heads lead the way
Through rocky glade and ferny hollow;
The does, with dappled fawns that play
As softly as their shadows, follow.


Among the oaks a squirrel chirrs;
A porcupine--the lubbard!--lurches
With rattling quills among the firs,
A blue-jay scolds among the birches--


Then all is still. A furtive mink
Alone steals up through brush and cumber
To watch the deer come down to drink
And feed where water-lilies slumber.