I LOVE the stillness of the wood:
I love the music of the rill
I love to couch in pensive
Upon some silent hill.
Scarce heard, beneath yon arching trees,
The silver-crested ripples pass;
And, like a mimic brook
, the breeze
among the grass.
Here from the world I win release,
of men, nor footstep rude,
Break in to mar the holy peace
Of this great solitude.
Here may the silent tears
Lull the vexed spirit
As infants sob themselves to sleep
Upon a mother's breast.
But when the bitter
hour is gone,
And the keen throbbing pangs are still,
Oh, sweetest then to couch alone
Upon some silent hill
To live in joys that once have been
To put the cold world out of sight,
And deck life's drear and barren
With hues of rainbow-light.
For what to man the gift of breath,
be his lot below;
If all the day that ends in death
Be dark with clouds of woe?
Shall the poor transport of an hour
Repay long years of sore distress
The fragrance of a lonely flower
Make glad the wilderness
Ye golden hours of Life's young spring,
, of love and truth!
Bright, beyond all imagining,
Thou fairy-dream of youth
I'd give all wealth that years have piled,
The slow result of Life's decay,
To be once more a little child
For one bright summer-day.
--- Lewis Carroll
Solitude was written on March 16, 1853. It appeared in The Train in 1856 and was the first time Charles Lutwidge Dodgson used the nom de plume Lewis Carroll.