A Straggler

I LEFT the throng whose laughter made
That wide old woodland echo clear,
While forth they spread, in breezy shade,
Their plethoric hamperfuls of cheer.
Along a dark, moss-misted plank
My way in dreamy mood I took,
And crossed, from balmy bank to bank,
The impetuous silver of the brook.
And wandering on, at last I found
A shadowy, tranquil, glade-like place,
Full of mellifluous leafy sound,
While midmost of its grassy space
A lump of rugged granite gleamed,
A tawny-lichened ledge of gray,
And up among the boughs there beamed
One blue, delicious glimpse of day!
In fitful faintness on my ear
The picnic’s lightsome laughter fell,
And softly, as I lingered here,
Sweet fancy bound me with a spell.
In some bland clime across the seas
Those merry tones I seemed to mark,
While dames and gallants roamed at ease
The pathways of some stately park.
And in that glimpse of amethyst air
I seemed to watch, with musing eye,
The rich blue fragment, fresh and fair,
Of some dead summer’s morning sky!
And that rough mass of granite, too,
From graceless outlines gently waned,
And took the sculptured shape and hue
Of dull old marble, deeply stained.
And then (most beauteous change of all!)
Strewn o’er its mottled slab lay low
A glove, a lute, a silken shawl,
A vellum-bound Boccaccio!

Edgar Fawcett.