I love the stillness of the wood:
I love the music of the rill:
I love to couch in pensive mood
Upon some silent hill.
Scarce heard, beneath you arching trees,
The silver-crested ripples pass;
And, like a mimic brook, the breeze
Whispers among the grass.
Here from the world I win release,
Nor scorn of men, nor footstep rude,
Break in to mar the holy peace
Of this great solitude.
Here may the silent tears I weep
Lull the vexed spirit into rest,
As infants sob themselves to sleep
Upon a mother’s breast.
But when the bitter hour is gone,
And the keen throbbing pangs are still,
Oh, sweetest then to couch alone
Upon some silent hill!
To live in joys that once have been,
To put the cold world out of sight,
And deck life’s drear and barren scene
With hues of rainbow-light.
For what to man the gift of breath,
If sorrow be his lot below;
If all the day that ends in death
Be dark with clouds of woe?
Shall the poor transport of an hour
Repay long years of sore distress —
The fragrance of a lonely flower
Make glad the wilderness?
Ye golden hours of Life’s young spring,
Of innocence, of love and truth!
Bright, beyond all imagining,
Thou fairy-dream of youth!
I’d give all wealth that years have piled,
The slow result of Life’s decay,
To be once more a little child
For one bright summer-day.
March 16, 1853.