In The Forest.
We lie beneath the forest shade
Whose sunny tremors dapple us;
She is a proud-eyed Grecian maid,
and I am Sardanapalus:
A king uncrowned, whose sole allegiance
Obtains in dusky forest regions
How cool and liquid seems the sky;
How blue and still the distance is
White fleets of cloud at anchor lie,
And mute are all existences,
Save here and there a bird that launches
A shaft of song among the branches.
Within this alien realm of shade
We keep a sylvan Passover;
We happy twain__a wayward maid,
A careless, gay philosopher;
But unto me she seems a Venus,
And Paphian grasses nod between us.
Her drooping eyelids half conceal
A vague uncertain mystery;
Her tender glances half reveal
A sad impassioned history:
A tale of hopes and fears unspoken,
Of thoughts that die and leave no token.
"Oh, braid a wreath of budding sprays
And crown me queen," the maiden says;
"queen of the shadowy woodland ways,
And wandering winds whose cadences
Are unto thee these words repeating
Which I must perish while secreting!"
I wove a wreath of leaves and buds
And flowers with golden chalices,
And crowned her queen of summer woods
And dreamy forest palaces,__
Queen of that realm whose tender story
Makes life a splendor, death a glory.