New Forest Verses

by Charlotte Turner Smith

As in the woods, where leathery lichen weaves
Its wint’ry web among the sallows leaves,
Which (thro’ cold months in whirling eddies blown)
Decay beneath the branches once their own,
From the brown shelter of their foliage sear,
Spring the young blooms that lead the floral year:
When, waked by vernal suns, the Pilewort dares
Expand her spotted leaves, and shining stars;
And (veins enpurpling all her tassels pale)
Bends the soft Wind-flower in the tepid gale;
Uncultured bells of azure Jacinths blow,
And the breeze-scenting Violet lurks below;
So views the wanderer, with delighted eyes,
Reviving hope from black despondence rise,
When blighted by Adversity’s chill breath,
Those hopes had felt a temporary death;
Then with gay heart he looks to future hours,
When love shall dress for him the Summer bowers!
And, as delicious dreams enchant his mind,
Forgets his sorrows past, or gives them to the wind.

(Verses supposed to have been written in the New Forest, in early spring. I believe they are extracted from one of her novels)

You can read more about Charlotte Turner Smith here: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlotte_Turner_Smith

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