The Murdered Traveller
When spring, to woods and wastes around,
by William Cullen Bryant
Brought bloom and joy again,
The murdered traveller's bones were found,
Far down a narrow glen.
The fragrant birch above him hung
Her tassels in the sky;
And many a vernal blossom sprung,
And nodded careless by.
The red-bird warbled as he wrought
His hanging nest o'erhead,
And fearless, near the fatal spot,
Her young the partridge led.
But there was weeping far away;
And gentle eyes, for him,
With watching many an anxious day,
Were sorrowful and dim.
They little knew, who loved him so,
The fearful death he met,
When shouting o'er the desert snow,
Unarmed, and hard beset;
Nor how, when round the frosty pole
The northern dawn was red,
The mountain wolf and wildcat stole
To banquet on the dead;
Nor how, when strangers found the bones,
They dressed the hasty bier,
And marked his grave with nameless stones,
Unmoistened by a tear.
But long they looked, and feared, and wept,
Within his distant home;
And dreamed, and started as they slept,
For joy that he was come.
So long they looked; but never spied
His welcome step again,
Nor knew the fearful death he died
Far down that narrow glen.