The trapper sat in his cabin
With grizzled beard and hair,
Yet straight as any soldier's
Were his massive shoulders square.
Eyes as clear as a mountain spring
That could pierce you at a glance,
Sharp as a pointed arrow
Or Indian warrior's lance.
"Pard, will you kindly tell me
Why you seek the hills,
Why you love the solitude
The lakes and crystal rills?
I don't want to be inquisitive,
Or pry into your life,
But; did you ever have a sweetheart,
Did you ever have a wife?"
The trapper turned his eyes on me,
'Twas with a friendly smile:—
"Yes, Pal, I had a sweetheart,
Also a wife and child.
We had a little cabin,
With plenty to wear and eat;
We were richer far than any king,
'Twas love so pure and sweet.
And Oh! how she loved the forest,
And how she would sing all day;
Happier far than the spotted fawns
That on yonder hillside play.
Then she told me the news one evening,
That made me feel so proud;
A child was soon to crown our joy;
Say;—I walked along a cloud!
Now, Pard, I can't explain to you,—
How am I going to tell
Of the joy within our cabin
That we both had loved so well?
But God loves the best and purest,—
Say, my eyes are growing dim—
He took her up to Heaven
Along with Little Jim!
So now I seek the forest
For I know her Spirit is here,
For very often on the trail
I feel her presence near.
And as long as the Creator
Will let me cruise around,
It will always be the woods for me,
I think them sacred ground."