SHE roves through shadowy solitudes,
Where scentless herbs and fragile flowers
Pine in the gloom that ever broods
Around her sylvan bowers.
No winds amid the branches sigh,
No footfall wakes the sodden ground ;
And the cold streams that hurry by
Flow on without a sound.
Strange, voiceless birds from spray to spray
Flit silently ; and all day long
The dancing midges round her play,
But sing no elfin song.
The haunting twilight ebbs and flows;
Chill is the night, wan is the morn ;
Through this dim wood no minstrel goes,
No hunter winds his horn.
No panting stag seeks yon dark pool;
No shepherd calls his bleating sheep
From sunburnt meads to shadows cool,
And grasses green and deep.
Across her path, from reed to reed,
The spider weaves his gossamer ;
She recks not where her footsteps lead,
The world is dead to her.
Her eyes are sad, her face is pale,
Her head droops sidewise wearily ;
Her dusky tresses, like a veil,
Down ripple to her knee.
How many a cycle hath she trod
Each mossy aisle, each leafy dell !
Alas, her feet with silence shod
Ne’er flee the hateful spell!
James B. Kenyon.