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High on the trunk's projecting brow,
And fixed an infant's span above The budding flowers, peeped forth the nest,
The prettiest of the grove !
The treasure proudly did I show
To some whose minds without disdain Can turn to little things; but once
Looked up for it in vain :
'Tis gone-a ruthless spoiler's prey,
Who heeds not beauty, love, or song, Tis gone! (so seemed it) and we grieved Indignant at the wrong.
Just three days after, passing by
In clearer light the moss-built cell I saw, espied its shaded mouth,
And felt that all was well.
The Primrose for a veil had spread
The largest of her upright leaves; And thus, for purposes benign,
A simple flower deceives.
Concealed from friends who might disturb
Thy quiet with no ill intent, Secure from evil eyes and hands
On barbarous plunder bent,
Rest, Mother-bird ! and when thy young
Take flight, and thou art free to roam, When withered is the guardian Flower,
And empty thy late home,
Think how ye prospered, thou and thine,
Amid the unviolated grove
It seems a day (I speak of one from many singled out: One of those heavenly days that cannot die; When, in the eagerness of boyish hope, I left our cottage threshold, sallying forth With a huge wallet o'er my shoulders slung, A nutting-crook in hand; and turned my steps Toward some far-distant wood, a figure quaint, Tricked out in proud disguise of cast-off weeds
Which for that service had been husbanded,
truth, More ragged than need was! O'er pathless
rocks, Through beds of matted fern and tangled
thickets, Forcing my way, I came to one dear nook Unvisited, where not a broken bough Drooped with its withered leaves, ungracious
sign Of devastation; but the hazels rose Tall and erect, with milk-white clusters hung, A virgin scene!-A little while I stood, Breathing with such suppression of the heart As joy delights in; and, with wise restraint Voluptuous, fearless of a rival, eyed The banquet ;-or beneath the trees I sate Among the flowers, and with the flowers I
played; A temper known to those, who, after long And weary expectation, have been blest With sudden happiness beyond all hope. Perhaps it was a bower beneath whose leaves The violets of five seasons re-appear And fade, unseen by any human eye; Where fairy water-breaks do murmur on For ever; and I saw the sparkling foam,
And—with my cheek on one of those green
stones That, fleeced with moss, beneath the shady
trees, Lay round me, scattered like a flock of sheepI heard the murmur and the murmuring sound, In that sweet mood when pleasure loves to pay Tribute to ease ; and, of its joy secure, The heart luxuriates with indifferent things, Wasting its kindliness on stocks and stones, And on the vacant air. Then up I rose, And dragged to earth both branch and bough,
with crash And merciless ravage; and the shady nook Of hazels, and the green and mossy bower, Deformed and sullied, patiently gave up Their quiet being : and, unless I now Confound my present feelings with the past, Ere from the mutilated bower I turned Exulting, rich beyond the wealth of kings, I felt a sense of pain when I beheld The silent trees, and saw the intruding sky.Then, dearest Maiden, move along these shades In gentleness of heart; with gentle hand Touch-for there is a spirit in the woods.
She was a Phantom of delight
I saw her upon nearer view,
And now I see with eye serene