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The Forest Inn

A frost-bit trail surrendered hills beyond,

Their eerie presence trying to enfold

Dour mists which haunt the hallowed ground


As bridal light begins to fall,

The night's confetti, daubs of snow

Unknown, where coppiced, crocused pall

Spurs Death's quick youth which age has paid so slow


That Time's slow Will and Fancy's blosom

Are soon to quell life's love misgotten.


Sprang up a time when spangled lilting boughs

Through greener tilling brooks could browse,

Which by the arboured inn its revels played


Whilst all around in beeches green

Was laid a riotous plot:

A wheel by revellers unseen

Would wear a deep, Fate-allocated slot


While fits of sunlight clamber up the wall,

Collapse in fancy, film or flight

And dewy slumbers settle on us all

And steal that hour we kept so hard to fight:


When snow welds fast the candle-coddled pane,

Benights the tavern, by History despised,

Where one last nodding head is laid,

Lapsed on an oaken table, and so demise.



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