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Walter Richard Cassels

(1826-1907 / England)

Wytham Woods

'Mid the waving Woods of Wytham,
Now so far, so far from me,
Where the grand old beeches be,
And the deer-herds feeding by them:
'Mid the mossy Woods of Wytham,
Oft I roam in memory;

Down the grand wide-arching alleys,
Marged by plumy ferns and flowers,
Whence all through the noontide hours
Many a fearless leveret sallies;
For amid those grassy alleys
Never hound nor huntsman scours.

Still I see, through leafy casements,
Wytham Hall so quaint and old,
Remnant of the age of gold,
Gabled o'er from roof to basement
In most fanciful enlacement,
Looking far o'er wood and wold;

With the mere outspread before it;
Whitest swans upon its tide,
That in mystic beauty glide;
And the wild fowl flapping o'er it,
To the reeds that broadly shore it,
Spear-like, on the sunny side.

Through the waving Woods of Wytham,
Now so far, so far from me,
Where I roam in memory;
'Mid the leaves, or flashing by them,
Like sunshine to glorify them,
On my sunless heart gleams she.

Falling like the dreams of summer,
Making holy all the place,
Visions of that sweet pale face,
Sweeter than all dreams of summer,
Dearer than all dreams of summer,
Still in bower and glade I trace!

Still her eyes come deeply glowing
Through the leafy lattices;
And the rustle of the trees,
'Neath the west wind softly blowing,
Only emulates the flowing
Of her love-toned melodies.

Oh! those waving Woods of Wytham--
Ceased she thus to hover near
Radiant from her happy sphere,
Like sunshine to glorify them,
Never would I wander nigh them--
Madly weeping should I fly them,
Till their memory e'en grew sere.

But ah! no, in endless slimmer,
Roams my heart through Wytham Woods,
Meeting in their solitudes
Evermore that angel comer,
Sweeter than the light of summer
Making golden Wytham Woods,
Now so far, so far from me
In the world of Memory.

Submitted: Monday, October 11, 2010

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