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And she is thoroughly forlorn:
And so, beneath a mouldered tree,
When, with a noise like distant thunder, A troop of deer came sweeping by: And, suddenly, behold a wonder! For, of that band of rushing deer, A single one in mid career Hath stopped, and fixed its large full eye Upon the Lady Emily, A doe most beautiful, clear white, A radiant creature, silver-bright!
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 near, Stopped once again ;—but, as no trace Was found of anything to fear.
Even 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 1
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 choicest care, This was for you a precious greeting,— For both a bounteous 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 take this gift of Heaven with grace?
That day, the first of a reunion Which was to teem with high communion, That day of balmy April weather, . They tarried in the wood together, nd when, ere fall of evening dew, 3 from this sylvan haunt withdrew, i white doe tracked with faithful paee
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 Wharfe is blended.
When Emily by morning light Went forth, the doe was there in sight. She shrunk: with one frail shock of pain, Received and followed by a prayer, Did she behold—saw once again; Shun will she not, she feels, will bear: But, wheresoever she looked round, AH now was trouble-haunted ground. So doth the sufferer deem it good Even once again this neighbourhood To leave. Unwooed, yet unforbidden, The white doe followed up the vale, Up to another cottage—hidden In the deep fork of Amerdale; And there may Emily restore Herself, in spots unseen before. Why tell of mossy rock, or tree, By lurking Denbrook'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 deed, Endless history that lies In her silent follower's eyes! Who with a power like human reason Discerns the favourable 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 kindly intercourse ensue.
Oh! surely 'twas 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 inclosed,
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 an azure sky.
What now is left for pain or fear?
That presence, dearer and more dear.
Did now a very gladness yield
At morning to the dewy field,
While they side by side were straying,
And the shepherd's pipe was playing;
And with a deeper peace endued
The hour of moonlight solitude.
With her companion, in such frame Of mind, to Rylstone back she came; And, wandering through the wasted groves, Revived the memory of old loves,
Undisturbed and undistressed,
When the bells of Rylstone played
Nor lacked she reason's firmest power;