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The Anyksciai Grove

Can anyone believe you once were fair?

Where are your former charms? Where did they go?

Where is your humming when the wind would blow

And toss the white-wood foliage to and fro

And rock your pines, as centuries ago?

Where are your birds and nestlings to be found

Whose chirping such contentment spread all round?

Where are your living creatures large and small,

The burrows and the lairs that housed them all?

All, all has gone: in the deserted plain

A few disfigured pines alone remain.

With needle, cone and twig the earth is strewn –

A barren waste the sun bakes hard in June,

A sight the soul views with as much distress

As ruined palaces rank weeds possess,

Or heaps of rubble where a town once teemed,

Or bone-dry moss where marshland softly gleamed.

Once walking here you found your eyes would ache:

The forest would your soul so merry make,

Your heart so glad you wondered in surprise:

Where am I – in a wood or Paradise?

All that surrounds you with such beauty glows!

With every scent the forest woos your nose

And lively sounds you hear in every part.

You sense a deep calm soothing to the heart.

What scents abound! Pine resin fills the air.

The scent of flowers gentle breezes bear.

In clearings white-red clover, camomile

And thyme with fragrance rare your nose beguile.