Fytte I: By Wood and Wold

[A Preamble]


‘Beneath the greenwood bough.’—W. Scott.


LIGHTLY the breath of the spring wind blows,

Though laden with faint perfume,

‘Tis the fragrance rare that the bushman knows,

The scent of the wattle bloom.

Two-thirds of our journey at least are done,

Old horse ! let us take a spell

In the shade from the glare of the noon-day sun,

Thus far we have travell’d well ;

Your bridle I’ll slip, your saddle ungirth,

And lay them beside this log,

For you’ll roll in that track of reddish earth,

And shake like a water-dog.


Upon yonder rise there’s a clump of trees—

Their shadows look cool and broad—

You can crop the grass as fast as you please,

While I stretch my limbs on the sward ;

‘Tis pleasant, I ween, with a leafy screen

O’er the weary head, to lie

On the mossy carpet of emerald green,

‘Neath the vault of the azure sky ;

Thus all alone by the wood and wold,

I yield myself once again

To the memories old that, like tales fresh told,

Come flitting across the brain.


Published in ‘Sea Spray and Smoke Drift’ (1867).