‘Twas once atop that hazy peak,
A humble hermit staked his claim,
And o’er glade and wood and creek,
These loyal subjects did he reign.
I stumbled once upon his home,
Wand’ring lost the woods awhile,
He greeted me with not a word,
But with a kindly peaceful smile.
He bid me come and so I went,
And watched his wrinkled hands at work,
Tending his garden so content,
I marveled, wond’ring at his smirk.
For all the day, the hermit wore
The gladdest smile upon his face,
And not the most arduous chore,
Could once befoul his smile’s grace.
Such joy to him these flowers brought!
He treasured them beyond compare,
Like hoards of gold upon that plot,
And he a dragon in its lair.
I cried aloud, I could not guess,
What secret might this good man hold,
Permitting him such happiness,
O how I wish to me he told!
What could he know, how could it be,
That he could with no pains forsake,
The people in exchange for trees,
And so to him I humbly spake:
O Hermit, pray, how can I learn,
What wondrous happy life has thee!
Not once did he but weakly yearn,
After human society.
Indeed no words escaped his lips,
From him I learned no secrets how,
But when, at last, he did respond,
O His gladness became Ours.
Such tenderness I never felt,
Until this blessed hour,
With loving touch he plucked for me,
The reddest, sweetest flower.