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And, with this silent gloom agreeing,
And she hath wandered, long and far,
Hath roamed in trouble and in grief,
And so—beneath a mouldered tree, A self-surviving leafless oak By unregarded age from stroke Of ravage saved--sate Emily. There did she rest, with head reclined, Herself most like a stately flower (Such have I seen) whom chance of birth Hath separated from its kind, To live and die in a shady bower, Single on the gladsome earth.
When, with a noise like distant thunder, A troop of deer came sweeping by ; And, suddenly, behold a wonder! For One, among those rushing deer, A single One, in mid career Hath stopped, and fixed her large full eye Upon the Lady Emily:
A doe most beautiful, clear-white,
Thus checked, a little while it stayed; A little thoughtful pause it made; And then advanced with stealth-like pace, Drew softly near her, and more nearLooked round—but saw no cause for fear; So to her feet the Creature came, And laid its head upon her knee, And looked into the Lady's face, A look of pure benignity, And fond unclouded memory. It is, thought Emily, the same, The very Doe of other years ! The pleading look the Lady viewed, And, by her gushing thoughts subdued, She melted into tears. A flood of tears, that flowed apace, Upon the happy Creature's face.
Oh, moment ever blest! O Pair Beloved of Heaven, Heaven's chosen care, This was for you a precious greeting; And may it prove a fruitful meeting! Joined are they, and the sylvan Doe Can she depart ? can she forego The Lady, once her playful peer, And now her sainted Mistress dear? And will not Emily receive This lovely chronicler of things Long past, delights and sorrowings? Lone Sufferer! will not she believe The promise in that speaking face;
And welcome, as a gift of grace,
That day, the first of a re-union Which was to teem with high communion, That day of balmy April weather, They tarried in the wood together. And when, ere fall of evening dew, She from her sylvan haunt withdrew, The White Doe tracked with faithful pace The Lady to her dwelling-place; That nook where, on paternal ground, A habitation she had found, The Master of whose humble board Once owned her Father for his Lord; A hut, by tufted trees defended, Where Rylstone brook with Wharf is blended.
When Emily by morning light
- Why tell of mossy rock, or tree, By lurking Dernbrook's pathless side, Haunts of a strengthening amity That calmed her, cheered, and fortified ? For she hath ventured now to read Of time, and place, and thought, and deedEndless history that lies In her silent Follower's eyes; Who with a power like human reason Discerns the favorable season, Skilled to approach or to retire, From looks conceiving her desire; From look, deportment, voice, or mien, That vary to the heart within. If she too passionately wreathed Her arms, or over-deeply breathed, Walked quick, or slowly, every mood In its degree was understood; Then well may their accord be true, And kindliest intercourse ensue. -Oh! surely 't was a gentle rousing When she by sudden glimpse espied The White Doe on the mountain browsing, Or in the meadow wandered wide! How pleased, when down the straggler sank Beside her, on some sunny bank! How soothed, when in thick bower enclosed, They, like a nested pair, reposed! Fair Vision! when it crossed the Maid Within some rocky cavern laid, The dark cave's portal gliding by, White as whitest cloud on high Floating through the azure sky.