A hunter once in that grove reclined,
To shun the noon’s bright eye,
And oft he wooed the wandering wind,
To cool his brow with its sigh.
While mute lay even the wild bee’s hum,
Nor breath could stir the aspen’s hair,
His song was still “Sweet air, oh come!”
While Echo answered, “Come, sweet Air!”
But, hark, what sounds from the thicket rise!
What meaneth that rustling spray?
“ ’Tis the white-horned doe,” the Hunter cries,
“I have sought since break of day.”
Quick o’er the sunny glade he springs,
The arrow flies from his sounding bow,
“Hilliho—hilliho!” he gaily sings,
While Echo sighs forth “Hilliho!”
Alas, ’twas not the white-horn’d doe
He saw in the rustling grove,
But the bridal veil, as pure as snow,
Of his own young wedded love.
And, ah, too sure that arrow sped,
For pale at his feet he sees her lie;—
“I die, I die,” was all she said,
While Echo murmur’d, “I die, I die!”
Cephalus and Procris
from Legendary Ballads
by Thomas Moore (1779-1852)