O give me the woods, the budding woods,
In the gentle time of spring,
When her dantiest robe o'er tree and shrub
With a noiseless hand she flings;
When the warbling notes of the birds do float,
As from their southern home
To their place of rest in the olden nest,
On gladsome wing they come.
O give me the wood, the shady wood,
In the balmy summer-time,
When voices sweet in the charmed retreat
Blend in a dreamy chime.
And the murmur low of the streamlet's flow
Has ever a charm to the eye,
Seeming to say as it floats away,
I go, goodbye--goodbye.
O give me the wood, the gorgeous wood,
In the fading autumn-time,
When the fitful breeze as it sighs through the trees
Breathes ever a solemn rhyme.
O! strange is the song that echoes along
Through the forest aisles so dim,
Like the anthem grand of some spirit band
Or the organ's wildest hymn.
O! give me the wood, the dreary wood,
When winter, old and hoar,
In his snowy shroud with many a cloud
Comes from some ice-girt shore.
O! there is a charm in the wind and storm,
Like the echoes wild and deep
That rise and roll through some convent old
Where the dead undreaming sleep.
O! give me the woods, the grand old woods,
Where a fairy-land it seems;
And I dwell while there in a charmed air
And lose myself in dreams.
Art thou weary of life and its ceaseless strife?
Then go to the tuneful wood;
In that retreat let the heart grow meek
As ye list to the voice of God.