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PLEASANT it was, when woods were green,
And winds were soft and low, To lie amid some sylvan scene, Where, the long drooping boughs between, Shadows dark and sunlight sheen
Alternate come and go:
Or where the denser grove receives
No sunlight from above,
The shadows hardly move.
Beneath some patriarchal tree
I lay upon the ground;
With one continuous sound ;
A slumberous sound,-a sound that brings
The feelings of a dream,-
And dreams of that which cannot die,
Bright visions, came to me,
Like ships upon the sea;
Ere Fancy has been quelled;
age, And chronicles of Eld.
And, loving still these quaint old themes,
Even in the city's throng I feel the freshness of the streams, That, crossed by shades and sunny gleams, Water the green land of dreams,
The holy land of song.
Therefore, at Pentecost, which brings
The Spring, clothed like a bride, When nestling buds unfold their wings, And bishop's-caps have golden rings, Musing upon many things,
I sought the woodlands wide.
The green trees whispered low and mild;
It was a sound of joy!
As if I were a boy ;
And ever whispered, mild and low,
“ Come, be a child once more !" And waved their long arms to and fro,
And beckoned solemnly and slow;
Into the blithe and breathing air,
Into the solemn wood, Solemn and silent everywhere! Nature with folded hands seemed there, Kneeling at her evening prayer!
Like one in prayer I stood.
Before me rose an avenue
Of tall and sombrous pines; Abroad their fan-like branches grew, And, where the sunshine darted through, Spread a vapor soft and blue, In long and sloping lines.
And, falling on my weary brain,
Like a fast-falling shower,
As once upon the flower.
Visions of childhood! Stay, 0 stay !
Ye were so sweet and wild ! And distant voices seemed to say, “ It cannot be! They pass away! Other themes demand thy lay;
Thou art no more a child !
“The land of Song within thee lies,
Watered by living springs;
Its clouds are angels' wings.
“ Learn, that henceforth thy song shall be,
Not mountains capped with snow, Nor forests sounding like the sea, Nor rivers flowing ceaselessly, Where the woodlands bend to see
The bending heavens below.
« 'l'here is a forest where the din
Of iron branches sounds!
Sees not its depths, nor bounds.
“Athwart the swinging branches cast,
Soft rays of sunshine pour; Then comes the fearful wintry blast; Our hopes, like withered leaves, fall fast; Pallid lips say, ' It is past !
We can return no more!'
6 Look, then, into thine heart, and write!
Yes, into Life's deep stream! All forms of sorrow and delight, All solemn Voices of the Night, That can soothe thee, or affright,
Be these henceforth thy theme.”