Down their steepy hillocks wended,
And to pastures paly green,
With their eager flocks, descended.
Why so gravely toward the sea —
Each as neighbor neighbor passes —
Point they, though upon the lea
Not a zephyr stirs the grasses ?
Do their quicker senses hear
Aught that may the storm betoken ?
To the sod now lay thine ear —
Lo, the charmed silence broken !*
First by low and tender moans,
As of music that complaineth,
Then by deep and heavy groans,
As when anguish strong constraineth.
Now, as if the south wind passed
Through the pine-tree softly, sadly,
Now, as if the whirlwind's blast
Smote the forest fiercely, madly.
* See Appendix XI.