From the mountain gray
It has made its way
To my garden green and cool,
And there, from the edge
Of a rocky ledge
Leaps down to a crystal pool.
With a plunging flash
It falls, to dash
That crystal into foam;
And then at a bound
Slips under ground
To the lake,—its final home.
In the morning light,
In the silent night,
When the moonlight gems the scene,
It laughs and sings,
And a light spray flings
O’er stately walls of green.
For in and out,
And round about,
Grow flowers, plants, and trees,
From the lowly moss
To the boughs that toss
Their leaves in the passing breeze.
On its outer zone
Of massive stone
Two marble statues stand,—
The silver sheen
Of the pool between,—
One form on either hand.
One of the pair
Is a woman fair,
With parted, smiling lips;
For her each hour
A honied flower,
And she the bee that sips.
The other, a faun,
From whom is gone
The power to frankly smile;
For whom each day,
As it drags away,
Makes life still less worth while.
The face of the one
Is like the sun,
With its warmth, and light, and cheer;
But the faun looks down
With ugly frown,
And his lips retain a sneer.
Youth and age, Child and sage! The former with life unknown; The latter burnt By lessons learnt, With a heart now turned to stone.
Yet the torrent speeds,
And never heeds
The statues’ smiles or sneers;
They come and go,
But the water’s flow
Has lasted a thousand years.
Poor, little bird! the chase is ended;
No longer hast thou cause for fear;
Within these walls thou art befriended;
No sportsmen can molest thee here.
Without, they doubtless still await thee,
And scan with eager eyes the sky;
Sweet, winsome thing! how can they hate thee?
Why should they wish to see thee die?
So limp and helpless! wilt thou never
Recover from thy fear and flight?
How breathless was thy last endeavor
To reach this shelter, when in sight!
Thou tremblest still, as I approach thee;
Do I, too, seem like all the rest?
Thy timid, liquid eyes reproach me ...
Alas! there’s blood upon thy breast.
Nay, fear not, birdling! let me gently
Uplift and hold thee in my hand;
Thou gazest on me so intently,
Thou must my motive understand.
Thy downy breast is pierced and bleeding;
This wing will never rise again;
In vain thy look, so wild and pleading!
I cannot cure or ease thy pain.
Too well the hunters have succeeded;
Thy little life is ebbing fast;
My presence now is all unheeded;
’Tis over; ... thou art dead at last.