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The music of the merry bird,

Or hum of busy bees.

But busy bees forsake the Elm

That bears no bloom aloftThe Finch was in the hawthorn-bush,

The Blackbird in the croft ; And among the firs the brooding Dove,

That else might murmur soft.

Yet still I heard that solemn sound,

And sad it was to boot,
From ev'ry overhanging bough,

And each minuter shoot;
From the rugged trunk and mossy rind,

And from the twisted root.

From these, –a melancholy moan;

From those,-a dreary sigh;
As if the boughs were wintry bare,

And wild winds sweeping by-
Whereas the smallest fleecy cloud

Was steadfast in the sky.

No sign or touch of stirring air

Could either sense observe-
The zephyr had not breath enough

The thistle-down to swerve,
Or force the filmy gossamers

To take another curve.

In still and silent slumber hush'd

All Nature seem'd to be; From heaven above, or earth beneath,

No whisper came to meExcept the solemn sound and sad

From that MYSTERIOUS TREE!

A hollow, hollow, hollow sound,

As is that dreamy roar

When distant billows boil and bound

Along a shingly shore-
But the ocean brim was far aloof,

A hundred miles or more.

No murmur of the gusty sea,

No tumult of the beach,
However they might foam and fret,

The bounded sense could reachMethought the trees in mystic tongue

Were talking each to each !

Mayhap, rehearsing ancient tales
Of greenwood love or guilt,

Of whisper'd vows

Beneath their boughs ;
Or blood obscurely spilt ;
Or of that near-hand Mansion House

A Royal Tudor built.

Perchance, of booty won or shared

Beneath the starry cope-
Or where the suicidal wretch

Hung up the fatal rope;
Or Beauty kept an evil tryste,

Insnared by Love and Hope.

Of graves, perchance, untimely scoop'd

At midnight dark and dankAnd what is underneath the sod Whereon the grass is rank

Of old intrigues,

And privy leagues,
Tradition leaves in blank.

Of traitor lips that mutter'd plots

Of Kin who fought and fellGod knows the undiscovered schemes,

The arts and acts of Hell,

Perform’d long generations since,

If trees had tongues to tell !

With wary eyes, and ears alert,

As one who walks afraid,
I wander'd down the dappled path

Of mingled light and shade
How sweetly gleamed that arch of blue

Beyond the green arcade!

How clearly shone the glimpse of Heav'n

Beyond that verdant aisle !
All overarch'd with lofty elms,
That quench'd the light the while,

As dim and chill

As serves to fill Some old Cathedral pile !

And many a gnarlèd trunk was there,

That ages long had stood,
Till Time had wrought them into shapes

Like Pan's fantastic brood ;
Dr still more foul and hideous forms

That Pagans carve in wood !

A crouching Satyr lurking here

And there a Goblin grimAs staring full of demon life

As Gothic sculptor's whimA marvel it had scarcely been

To hear a voice from him !

Some whisper from that horrid mouth

Of strange, unearthly tone;
Or wild infernal laugh, to chill

One's marrow in the bone.
But no- it grins like rigid Death,

And silent as a stone !

As silent as its fellow's be,

For all is mute with them
The branch that climbs the leafy roof,
The rough and mossy stem-

The crooked root,

And tender shoot, Where hangs the dewy gem.

One mystic Tree alone there is,

Of sad and solemn sound-
That sometimes murmurs overhead,

And sometimes underground-
In all thai shady Avenue,

Where losty Elms abound.

PART II.

The Scene is changed! No green Arcade

No Trees all ranged a-row-
But scattered like a beaten host,

Dispersing to and fro;
With here and there a sylvan corse,

That fell before the foe.

The Foe that down in yonder dell

Pursues his daily toil;
As witness many a prostrate trunk,

Bereft of leafy spoil,
Hard by its wooden stump, whereon

The adder loves to coil.

Alone he works-his ringing blows

Have banish'd bird and beast;
The Hind and Fawn have canter'd oft

A hundred yards at least ;
And on the maple's lofty top,
The linnet's

song

has ceased.

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