Selections from the American poets
William Cullen Bryant



THAT I were in some forest's green retreat,
Beneath a towering arch of proud old elms,
Where a clear streamlet gurgled at my feet,
Its wavelets glittering in their tiny helms!
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Thick, clustering vines, in many a rich festoon,
From the high, rustling branches should depend,
Weaving a net through which the sultry noon
Might stoop in vain its fiery darts to send.
There, prostrate on some rock's gray sloping side,
Upon whose tinted moss the dew yet lay,
Would I catch glimpses of the clouds that ride
Athwart the sky, and dream the hours away;
While, through the alleys of the sunless wood,
The fanning breeze might steal, with wild flowers' breath imbued.