" Welcome!” the wood god murmured through
the leaves, 45 “ Welcome, though late, unknowing, yet known
Evening drew on; stars peeped through maplo.
Which o'erhung, like a cloud, our camping fire.
Decayed millennial trunks, like moonlight flecks,
Lit with phosphoric crumbs the forest floor.
Ten scholars, wonted to lie warm and soft
In well-hung chambers daintily bestowed,
Lie here on hemlock boughs, like Sacs and Sioux,
And greet unanimous the joyful change.
So fast will Nature acclimate her sons,
55 Though late returning to her pristine ways.
Off soundings, seamen do not suffer cold;
And, in the forest, delicate clerks, unbrowned,
Sleep on the fragrant brush as on down-beds.
Up with the dawn, they fancied the light air 60 That circled freshly in their forest dress
Made them to boys again. Happier that they
Slipped off their pack of duties, leagues behind,
At the first mounting of the giant stairs.
No placard on these rocks warned to the polls, 65 No door-bell heralded a visitor,
No courier waits, no letter came or went,
Nothing was ploughed, or reaped, or bought, or
The frost might glitter, it would blight no crop,
The falling rain will spoil no holiday.
70 We were made freemen of the forest laws,
All dressed, like Nature, fit for her own ends,
Essaying nothing sne cannot perform.