THE PINE FOREST.
DJOUNI, AND LADY HESTER STANHOPE.
Here didst thou dwell, here schemes of pleasure plan,
Beneath yon mountain's ever-beauteous brow ;
But now, as though a thing unblest by man,
Thy fairy dwelling is as lone as thou !
Here giant weeds a passage scarce allow,
To halls deserten, portals gaping wide ;
Fresh lessons to th' unthinking bosom, how
Vain are the pleasaunces by life supplied,
Swept into wrecks anon by Time's ungentle tide!
After proceeding for some time through a narrow lane, with
hedges of thickly clotted cactus, we emerged into the romantic
pine-forest about which Lamartine has written such pretty rhap-
sodies. An open space of bright, soft sand shoots pathways in
every direction through the shade, whose pleasant gloom soon
terminates their vistas. At the foot of each old tree is a little
circular carpet of verdure, looking at a distance like the shadow
of its pine : the majestic groves of older growth, intermingled
with the 'ender green of the young plantations, canopy the whole
region around with a various and chequered shade. The cara-
vans pass along noiselessly on the soft verdure or the yielding
sand ; not a sound is heard but that of the far-off sea, and the
faint rustle of the branches. Through the deep foliage, a view
of the impending Lebanon occasionally breaks, and cool breezes,
that seem to have their home here, wander inquisitively about in
each natural bower and shady nook. The glades, and banks,
and pathways, and arenas, present the very scene that romancr
would select for the warrior's or the lover's delectation—for "pas
cages of arms" or of poetry.
About an hour from the city (we measure distance here by