‘A forest valley, with deep profundity of shade,
formed by tree crowding on tree,
descends deep before me.
The oak roots, turfed and mossed,
gave me a seat;
the oak boughs, thick-leaved,
wove me a canopy.
There is something in the air of this clime
which fosters life kindly.
Its dews heals with sovereign balm.
Its gentle seasons exaggerate no passion;
its temperature tends to harmony;
its breezes bring down from heaven
the germ of pure thought and purer feeling.
In all the grandeur of this forest
there is repose;
in all its freshness
there is tenderness.
The gentle charm vouchsafed to flower and tree,
has not been denied to me.
Nature cast my features in a fine mould;
I have matured in my pure, accurate first lines,
unaltered by the shocks of life.
My form gleams through the trees;
my hair flows plenteous and glossy;
my eyes beam in the shade large and open,
full and dewy.
Above my eyes,
when the breeze bares my forehead,
shines an expanse fair and ample –
a clear page
whereon knowledge may write a golden letter’
VaL Smit ©