When I am very earnestly digging
I lift my head sometimes, and look at the mountains,
And muse upon them, muscles relaxing.
I think how freely the wild grasses flower there,
How grandly the storm-shaped trees are massed in their gorges
And the rain-worn rocks strewn in magnificent heaps.
Pioneer plants on those uplands find their own footing;
No vigorous growth, there, is an evil weed:
All weathers are salutary.
It is only a little while since this hillside
Lay untrammelled likewise,
Unceasingly swept by transmarine winds.
In a very little while, it may be,
When our impulsive limbs and our superior skulls
Have to the soil restored several ounces of fertiliser,
The Mother of all will take charge again,
And soon wipe away with her elements
Our small fond human enclosures.
Mary Ursula Bethell (1874-1945)