First off, if you want critiques for a poem, turning them into finished art like you have here doesn't make sense. Real critiques are for offering help with edits. They're not just a chance to get more comments or praise for your piece. NOT saying that's what you're doing or what you meant, but I see this a lot on dA, so I wanted to point it out just in case!
You start with 7686 in the first verse. I love 8/6 and 7/6 rhymes, so it appealed to me before I counted, but you should stick with a set math for your poetry whenever possible. In this case, that third line could do without one of the syllables. The second stanza's okay as is, but then the third is 8/6/9/6 which shows you're letting it get away from you a bit. I definitely believe that art is more important than syllable counts, but I just highly recommend you count them as you go and edit when you can, as some of your lines do feel a beat too long. You then closed the poem with 8/7/9/8.
It just felt like you had a great 8/6/8/6 or 7/6/7/6 poem at the start, but the more I read, the more I felt the extra beats. Yes again, you can do what you like and SHOULD do what you like, but as a complete stranger offering a critique, I wanted to just give you my honest impressions of how it felt to read it.
For the record, I loved the poem itself. I know it seems like I didn't, but I did. I just hope you'll take my advice and focus on the syllable counts of your poems more. Best wishes. --Sean
Hiya, Thanks for the critique! I see what you mean about making it look finished, though it only takes a minute to create the presentation - this is already version 2 of the poem. Anyway, I'll consider that for future submissions!
About the syllables - it is a little inconsistent... For reader clarity, the third line of verse four should have had "gath'ring" (since that's how I pronounce it). You mention that the third verse is 8/6/9/6, though I still count 8/6/8/6: "midst" is a bit cumbersome, but is a single syllable.
Glad you liked it! I have a new piece I'll be submitting soon which is eight verses in 8/6/8/6 (strictly this time!)
'midst ruins and trees the sound now twists 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 = 9
I guess you pronounce ruins as 1 syllable where you are, which is probably where we are different. Here in the United States/New York, we pronounce it the same way we do "ruined" as in "ru-ined" or "ru-ins". No biggy.
Thanks for responding and glad to hear you are a syllable-caring person. All the best!