"The Lore of the Forest: Myths and Legends"
Alexander Porteus, 1928.
the milleniums passed, other epochs of time held their sway, until at
the close of the glacial periods forests as wwe now know them covered
the land, and, apart from their utilitarian purposes, a very wealth of
romance lies hidden within their bosky depths. There, the voice of
Nature speaks to the weary wayfarer; the rustling and whispering of the
leaves; the sad, yet sweet, cooing of pigeons; the melody of songbirds,
or the distant cawing of rooks; the hum of innumerable insects: all
impart a feeling of rest, and the strife and jealousies of the world
seem far removed. Here in the sunny glades of the forest the ground is
carpeted with mosses and flowers, while all around the view is bounded
by gigantic trunks of trees each clad with many-coloured lichens, and
the whole canopied with leafy boughs whence the feathered orchestra of
the woods pour forth their divine meolody. It is recorded that the monk
of Hildesheim, doubting how with God a thousand years could be as
yesterday, listened to the melody of a bird in the green wood during
three minutes, and found that in these three minutes three hundred
years had flown.
To a wandererin forest solitudes a sense of
mytery is often perceived which lures him on and on into the verdant
depths of the woodland world. On a brilliant summer day the tremulous
throbbing of the air, seemingly full of whisperings and sighings from
an unseen host, appears like the pulsation from the mighty heart of the
forest, while, all around, sunlight and shadow form a tangled web of
enchantment, which is deepened by soft elusive perfumes floating on the
damp zephyrs. In fancy he may feel drawn back to the early primitive
ages, when the forest deities would have had a very real existence to
him, and he would understand the inner meaning of those oracles which
were often spoken in the glades of the primeval woods.
~From "The Lore of the Forest: Myths and Legends", Alexander Porteus, 1928.