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PRELUDE.

PRELUDE.

PLEASANT it was, when woods were green,
And winds were soft and low,
To lie amid some sylvan scene,
Where, the long drooping boughs between,
Shadows dark and sunlight sheen,
Alternate come and go.

Or where the denser grove receives
No sunlight from above,
But the dark foliage interweaves
In one unbroken roof of leaves,
Underneath whose sloping eaves,
The shadows hardly move.

Beneath some patriarchal tree
I lay upon the ground;
His hoary arms up-lifted he,
And all the broad leaves over me
Clapped their little hands in glee,
With one continuous sound; —

A slumberous sound, — a sound that brings
The feelings of a dream, -
As of innumerable wings,
As, when a bell no longer swings,
Faint the hollow murmur rings
O’er meadow, lake, and stream.

And dreams of that which cannot die,
Bright visions, came to me,
As lapped in thought I used to lie,
And gaze into the summer sky,
Where the sailing clouds went by,
Like ships upon the sea;

Dreams, that the soul of youth engage
Ere Fancy has been quelled ;
old legends of the monkish page,
Traditions of the saint and sage,
Tales that have the rime of age,
And chronicles of Eld.

And loving still these quaint old themes,
Even in the city's throng,
I feel the freshness of the streams,
That, crossed by shades and sunny gleams,
Water the green land of dreams,
The holy land of song.

Therefore, at Pentecost, which brings
The Spring, clothed like a bride,
When nestling buds unfold their wings,
And bishop's-caps have golden rings,
Musing upon many things,
I sought the woodlands wide.

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