A Fancy-Piece

I found thee where the woods were wild,
And weeds and thorns had round thee grown;
No hunter's foot, no wandering child,
Had met thee, thou wert all so lone.

Above, the cypress and the yew
Had wreathed around their funeral shade,
And the still wind, that faintly blew,
A sound, like that of sorrow, made.

And ever, as it o'er thee swept,
Low-breathing melodies were heard,
As if a mourner sobbed and wept,
Or nightly sang the widowed bird.

And now, as fitfully the blast
Shook the tossed branches overhead,
A voice like that of terror passed,
And like a midnight vision fled.

And then again a mingled tone
Of all sweet echoes met my ear,
Sweet as, when storms are over blown,
The warm south-wind comes stealing near;

Sweet as the closing breath of even,
When wet with dews her pinions fall,
And, like a messenger of Heaven,
Night comes, and whispers peace to all.

I took thee from thy sylvan haunt,
And brought thee to the cultured plain,
And saw thee flourish, like a plant
Nursed by the dews and kindly rain.

And there was music round thee still,
And it was sweet — O, sweeter far!
Like voices echoed from the hill,
When Love has lit his trembling star:

Or like the fluttering airs in May,
Stealing among the musky flowers,
And bearing mingled sweets away
From pansied beds and orange bowers:

A sound, that with the fretting stream,
And feeding flocks, and murmuring bees,
Blent, like the closing of a dream,
In undistinguished harmonies.

And ever, as the mounting sun
Shone broader in the summer heaven,
Voices and symphonies would run,
In hurried chords around thee driven.

And then the melody was high,
Like organs pealing through a choir,
Or thunders mingling in the sky,
Or like the distant roar of fire, —

A solemn, tempered tone, that gave
A shuddering, not unmixed with joy,
As when the proud, unshrinking boy
Fears, and yet breasts the bursting wave.

And ever as the loftier swell
Sank from its airy throne, there came
Soft utterings of peace, that fell
Silently breathing one loved name.

Still loftier grew the master-song,
And sweeter stole the under-tone,
When suddenly there rolled along
Rude storms, and every breath had flown.

Silent and cold I saw thee lay
Thy honors and thy hopes aside,
And slowly, faintly sink away,
Slow as the long-retiring tide.

The breath of spring to thee was balm,
And summer gave thee light and love;
Thy leaves were green, when air was calm,
And heaven dropped blessings from above.

But when the hills are bleak and bare,
Thou canst not stand the open plain;
But rather thou wouldst wither where
I found thee, in thy woods, again.
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