Peace of Wild Things, The


Wendell Berry (b.1934)

Gentleman farmer and poet Wendell Berry writes in many genres and has been described as a modern day Thoreau. This setting of Berry's "The Peace of Wild Things" often bring singers to tears upon first reading; as it connects the singer to our animal nature, stills our minds, slows our breath and invites respite from despair.





The Peace of Wild Things

When despair for the world grows in me

and I wake in the night at the least sound

in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,

I go and lie down where the wood drake

rests in his beauty on the water,and the great heron feeds.

I come into the peace of wild things

who do not tax their lives with forethought

of grief. I come into the presence of still water.

And I feel above me the day-blind stars

waiting with their light. For a time

I rest in the grace of the world,and am free.