these woods are wild and drear;
These tangled paths are rough and lone;
These dells are full of things of fear,
And should be rather shunned than known.
Then turn thy truant foot away,
And seek afar the cultured glade,
Nor dare with reckless step to stray,
’Mid these lone realms of fear and shade!
You go not, and you seek to hear,
Why one like me should idly roam,
’Mid scenes like these, so dark, so drear—
These rocks my bed, these woods my home?
hath twined with serpent coil
Around my heart its fatal fold;
And though my struggling bosom toil,
To heave the monster from its hold—
It will not from its victim part.
By day or night, in down or dell,
Where’er I roam, still, still my heart
Is pressed by that sad serpent spell.
Aye, as the strangling boa clings
Around his prey with fatal grasp,
And as he feels each struggle, wrings
His victim with a closer clasp;
Nor yet till every pulse is dumb,
And every fluttering spasm o’er,
Releases, what, in death o’ercome,
Can strive or struggle now no more;
So is my wrestling spirit wrung,
By that one deep and deadly sin,
That will not, while I live, be flung,
From its sad work of woe within.
[Illustration: “My native hills,” &c.]
hills are far away,
Beneath a soft and sunny sky;
Green as the sea, the forests play,
’Mid the fresh winds that sweep them by.
I loved those hills, I loved the flowers,
That dashed with gems their sunny swells,
And oft I fondly dreamed for hours,
By streams within those mountain dells.
I loved the wood—each tree and leaf,
In breeze or blast, to me was fair,
And if my heart was touched with grief,
I always found a solace there.
My parents slumbered in the tomb;
But thrilling thoughts of them came back,
And seemed within my breast to bloom.
As lone I ranged the forest track.
The wild flowers rose beneath my feet
Like memories dear of those who slept,
And all around to me was sweet,
Although, perchance, I sometimes wept.
I wept, but not, oh not in sadness,
And those bright tears I would not smother,
For less they flowed in grief than gladness,
So blest the memory of my mother.
And she was linked, I know not why,
With leaves and flowers, and landscapes fair
And all beneath the bending sky,
As if she still were with