HERE, where the peace of the Creator lies, Far from the busy mart’s incessant hum, Where mountains in their lonely grandeur rise, Waiting unmoved the ages yet to come, Thou dwellest under broad and tranquil skies, A green oasis with unfailing springs, The undisturbed home of restful things.
Here, with the morn, when day is blithely breaking,
And from the east a hemisphere of light
Rolls westward o’er a world refreshed, awaking
From the embrace of slumber and of night,
Sweet comes the bonny bluebird’s joyous greeting,
While strutting Chanticleer, with tuneful throat,
Heralds the day in shrill, exultant note.
At sunset through thy woods I take my way,
Threading the mazy walks and avenues,
While from the crimson west some lingering ray
Falls on my path, and Memory’s shrine endues
With dreamy incense of a bygone day,
And in the thronging multitude of sylvan voices
Sweet summer music tells us how the wood rejoices.
Ah ! can this be the Paradise ? or yet
Bright El Dorado, or Arcadia, where
Glad fairies revel when the sun hath set,
And songs of birds forever fill the air ?
Where nymph or dryad, with soft eyes of jet,
Lures the late wanderer to his final rest,
And charms his life out on her faithless breast?
O thou most dear and venerated spot,
I love thee for that thou art still as when
In happy hours — unclouded then my lot —
I lay within thy fern-enshrouded glen
And felt thy loving presence. Not again
With prayers or tears may vanished hours be bought.
So be it, then, and here on thy green breast,
When life is done, grant me a spot to rest.
Ralph Browning Fiske.