Algy flew into the woodland, to a spot where the trees enclosed a beautiful lochan which formed a perfect mirror. Concealing himself in a straggly heather bush near a bed of water lilies, Algy gazed out at the water and the reflections of the trees, thinking of all his human friends in these deeply troubled times, and especially of his friends in France and Germany. In the peace and calm of the West Highland woodlands, he whispered these verses by the poet John Keats, for all his friends whose souls are wrapped in gloom just now:
When by my solitary hearth I sit, And hateful thoughts enwrap my soul in gloom; When no fair dreams before my “mind’s eye” flit, And the bare heath of life presents no bloom; Sweet Hope, ethereal balm upon me shed, And wave thy silver pinions o'er my head.
Whene'er I wander, at the fall of night, Where woven boughs shut out the moon’s bright ray, Should sad Despondency my musings fright, And frown, to drive fair Cheerfulness away, Peep with the moon-beams through the leafy roof, And keep that fiend Despondence far aloof
And as, in sparkling majesty, a star Gilds the bright summit of some gloomy cloud; Brightening the half veil’d face of heaven afar: So, when dark thoughts my boding spirit shroud, Sweet Hope, celestial influence round me shed, Waving thy silver pinions o'er my head.
[Algy is quoting the first two verses and the last verse from the poem To Hope by the early 19th century English poet John Keats.]