James and Mary Ford, eds. Every Day in the Year. 1902.

April 23


By Craven Langstroth Betts (1853–1941)

(Died April 23, 1850)

THE PRESENCES of woods informed his soul;

His Muse was taught of winds and murmuring streams;

Across his vision broke Love’s rarest gleams,

And English faith held o’er him proud control.

He was Truth’s eremite with beechen bowl;

The wayside life and legend shaped his themes,

Borne softly through his mountain realm of dreams,

But round those heights rang Freedom’s trumpet-roll.

Prophet and priest and bard—the humble throng

He loved and voiced, from the great Mother drew

His litanies and choruses; the blue

Of Heaven and green of Earth illumed his song.

The Joshua, he, of Israel’s chosen few,

And of his peers the Godfrey chaste and strong.