The Old Forest
The Crayon, Sept. 5, 1855
One fine day, while idly straying,
Came I to an ancient wood,
Where the trees were fast decaying,
In their realms of solitude.
Mystic cypresses were stooping,
Dimly in the weird-like gloom;
Shadowy boughs were lowly drooping,
Like the willows o’er a tomb.
Lofty pines and oaks primeval,
Upward high their branches bore;
Rugged yews that seemed coeval,
With the “saintly days of yore,”
Stood in solemn silence, saying
Rustling leaves that fluttered low
On the dark boughs dimly waving
O’er their sepulchres below.
Long I wandered ’till the slanting
Sunbeams bathed in misty gold,
The forest and a scene enchanting
To my vision did unfold.
Streaming richly through the pendant
Spray that waved in motley-green;
Lighting up each nook resplendent,
‘Till it looked a magic scene.
Long I gazed with admiration
On the woodland thus arrayed,
Changing in its transformation
Glorious tints of light and shade.
Twilight shadows gathered round me,
Still I lingered in the wood,
Chained by beauty’s spell that bound me
To its peaceful solitude.
Shadows deepened into sable
Hues that haunt the rayless night;
Scarcely longer was I able
To discern a ray of light:
Till at last the wild charm spurning,
As the night still darker grew,
Homeward then my footsteps turning,
To the forest bade adieu.