Fragrant Quote for September 30th, 2012-A FOREST WALK by Alfred Billings Street

A Lovely sky, a cloudless sun,
A wind that breathes of leaves and
O'er hill, through dale, my steps have
To the cool forest's shadowy
One of the paths all round that wind.

Traced by the browsing herds, I
And sights and sounds of human kind
In Nature's lone recesses lose: 
The beech displays its marbled bark, 
The spruce its green tent stretches
While scowls the hemlock grim and
The maple's scalloped dome beside. 
 All weave on high a verdant roof 
That keeps the very sun aloof. Making a twilight soft and green 
Within the columned, vaulted scene.

Sweet forest-odors have their birth
From the clothed boughs and teem-
ing earth:
Where pine-cones dropped, leaves
piled and dead 
Long tufts of grass, and stars of
With many a wild flower's fairy
A thick, elastic carpet spread:
Here, with its mossy pall, the trunk, 
Resolving into soil, is sunk; 
There, wrenched but lately from its
By some fierce whirlwind circling
Its huge roots massed with earth and
One of the woodland kings is cast.

Above, the forest-tips are bright 
With the broad blaze of sunny light; 
But now a fitful air-gust parts
The screening branches, and aglow
 Of dazzling, startling radiance darts
Down the dark stems, and breaks
The mingled shadows off are rolled. 
The sylvan floor is bathed in gold;
Low sprouts and herbs, before unseen 
Display their shades of brown and
Tints brighten o'er the velvet moss, 
Gleams twinkle on the laurel's gloss; 
The robin, brooding in her nest, 
Chirps as the quick ray strikes her
And, as my shadow prints the ground,
I see the rabbit upward bound,
With pointed ears an instant look,
Then scamper to the darkest nook,
Where, with crouched limb and star-
ing eye,
He watches while I saunter by.

A narrow vista, carpeted
With rich green grass, invites my
Here showers the light in golden dots,
There drops the shade in ebon spots,
So blended that the very air
Seems net-work as I enter there.
The partridge, whose deep-rolling
Afar has sounded in my ear, 
Ceasing his beatings as I come. 
Whirs to the sheltering branches
The little milk-snake glides away. 
The brindled marmot dives from day; 
And now, between the boughs, a
Of the blue, laughing sky, I trace: 
On each side shrinks the bowery
Before me spreads an emerald glade; 
The sunshine steeps its grass and
That couch my footsteps as I cross;
Merrily hums the tawny bee,
The glittering humming-bird I see;
Floats the bright butterfly along,
The insect choir is loud in song;
A spot of light and life, it seems. —
A fairy haunt for Fancy's dreams.

Here stretched, the pleasant turf I
In luxury of idleness;
Sun-streaks, and glancing wings, and
Spotted with cloud-shapes charm my
While murmuring grass and waving
trees —
Their leaf-harps sounding to the
breeze —
And water-tones that tinkle near. 
Blend their sweet music to my ear; 
And by the changing shades alone, 
The passage of the hours is known.