In the Black Forest by Celia Thaxter

 

 

UP through the great Black Forest,

So wild and wonderful,

We climbed in the autumn afternoon

'Mid the shadows deep and cool.


We climbed to the Grand Duke's castle

That stood on the airy height;

Above the leagues of pine-trees dark

It shone in the yellow light.


Around the edge of her wee white cap

We saw how the peasant women

Were toiling along the way,

In the open spaces, here and there,

That steeped in the sunshine lay.


They gathered the autumn harvest—

All toil-worn and weather-browned;

They gathered the roots they had planted in spring,

And piled them up on the ground.


We heard the laughter of children,

And merrily down the road

Ran little Max with a rattling cart,

Heaped with a heavy load.


Upon orange carrots, and beets so red,

And turnips smooth and white,

With leaves of green all packed between,

Sat the little Rosel bright.


The wind -blew out her curls—

A sweeter face I have never seen

Than this happy little girl's.


A spray of the carrot's foliage fine,

Soft as a feather of green,

Drooped over her head from behind her ear.

As proud as the plume of a queen.


Light was his burden to merry Max,

With Rosel perched above,

And he gazed at her on that humble throne

With the eyes of pride and love.


With joyful laughter they passed us by,

And up through the forest of pine,

So solemn and still, we made our way

To the castle of Eberstein.

Oh, lofty the Grand Duke's castle

That looked o'er the forest gloom;

But better I love to remember

The children's rosy bloom.


Oh, vast and dim and beautiful

Were the dark woods' shadowy aisles.

And all their silent depths seemed lit

With the children's golden smiles.

And sweet is the picture I brought away

From the wild Black Forest shade,

Of proud and happy and merry Max,

And Rosel, the little maid.