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A VALLEY OF VIRGINIA, by                     Poet's Biography
First Line: A long deep valley - narrow, silent, shaded
Last Line: The boughs above, the wild flowers on my breast.
Alternate Author Name(s): Warfield, Catherine M.
Subject(s): Virginia (state)

A LONG deep valley -- narrow, silent, shaded
By lofty trees -- the young, the old, the seer;
It lies where footstep seldom has invaded
The haunts and coverts of the graceful deer.
The silver sound of a small fountain, springing
From the green bosom of the shaded earth,
With its blithe, mellow and eternal singing,
Is there the only voice that tells of mirth.

For all the day the ringdove's note complaining,
Fills with its murmurs sad the dusky air;
And when the twilight solemnly is waning,
The sullen owl shrieks wildly, harshly there.
The young fawn starts, as o'er the fountain bending
To quaff the water sparkling to the brim,
He hears the savage cadence, far ascending
Through the still evening air and forest dim.

The grass is full of wild flowers, and they render
A fragrance, strangely delicate and fine,
And the young cedars, tall, erect and slender,
Grow wreathed around with many a clinging vine
The purple clusters, 'mid the shadows falling,
Invite the bird to leave his leafy hall,
And, in low melodies, you hear him calling
His brooding mate to share his festival.

Vale of Virginia! oft my spirit turneth
From crowded cities to thy deep repose;
And with a sick and weary aching, yearneth
To bear unto thy gloom its weight of woes,
And dwell within thy shadows; there repelling
All worldly forms, all vanities of earth,
I would uprear a rude and moss-crown'd dwelling,
And muse above a solitary hearth.

There would I summon many a vanish'd vision,
Around my threshold and my couch to draw;
And far from earthly fane, and man's derision,
Adore, according to the living law.
There, when mine eyes had closed in sleep eternal,
Still would I wish to take my quiet rest,
Shrined in that solitude profound and vernal,
The boughs above, the wild flowers on my breast.

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