A Forest Idyl

A poem by Madison Julius Cawein


Beneath an old beech-tree
They sat together,
Fair as a flower was she
Of summer weather.
They spoke of life and love,
While, through the boughs above,
The sunlight, like a dove,
Dropped many a feather.


And there the violet,
The bluet near it,
Made blurs of azure wet
As if some spirit,
Or woodland dream, had gone
Sprinkling the earth with dawn,
When only Fay and Faun
Could see or hear it.


She with her young, sweet face
And eyes gray-beaming,
Made of that forest place
A spot for dreaming:
A spot for Oreads
To smooth their nut-brown braids,
For Dryads of the glades
To dance in, gleaming.


So dim the place, so blest,
One had not wondered
Had Dian's moon├ęd breast
The deep leaves sundered,
And there on them awhile
The goddess deigned to smile,
While down some forest aisle.
The far hunt thundered.


I deem that hour perchance
Was but a mirror
To show them Earth's romance
And draw them nearer:
A mirror where, meseems,
All that this Earth-life dreams,
All loveliness that gleams,
Their souls saw clearer.


Beneath an old beech-tree
They dreamed of blisses;
Fair as a flower was she
That summer kisses:
They spoke of dreams and days,
Of love that goes and stays,
Of all for which life prays,
Ah me! and misses.

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