The day was fair, the sun was warm,
And I for once was free from work.
Nature looked innocent of harm,
No lowering shadows seemed to lurk.
And so we thought we’d take a walk
Down through the Glen of Summerhill,
For many times we used to talk
Of going, were the day not chill.
We entered in the arbour cool
Among the trees so tall and bare,
And saw beside the lily pool
The pure white snowdrops growing there.
They curtseyed to our little maid,
Themselves the first flowers of the year;
Bluebells would soon carpet that glade;
Soon would the daffodils appear.
The air was sweet with virgin scent;
The brook ran prattling on its way.
O smiling Nature, innocent,
Here like a human babe at play!
But when I saw the dark grim tank
That lies with green and slimy weed
Within the hollow, and the rank
Unwholesome garbage of its mead…
And when we came upon the place
That overlooks the bay and shore,
A stony seep with flowered face
That dropped for twenty feet or more…
And when twined creepers tugged at feet,
And boggy ground with sucking tongue
Lay there unmarked, and branches beat
Against the face with whiplash strong…
I wondered how our maid would fare
If left with Nature as her nurse;
And trembled, looking through the air,
At visioning her harm, or worse!
(Also in the category: A Spirit in the Glens)