These forests are very useful in delivering princes from their courtiers, then the princes get away to follow their fortunes. In this way they have the advantage over the princesses, who are forced to marry before they have had a bit of fun. I wish our princesses got lost in a forest sometimes.
I love George MacDonald. And I love chamber theatre. The opportunity to put these two together means that the Prince who is - in the fairy tale - one of those hopeless romantics, in my version of the play is the one who speaks those lines, while the Princess (floating unnoticed behind him) overhears it.
If you don't know The Light Princess, run to read it (or amble to the synopsis). It's a beautiful fairy tale, with terrible (and wonderful) puns on what it means to be light; what it means to have no gravity. George MacDonald is a dream-like fantasist, who greatly influenced C. S. Lewis.
His books are all worth reading...and since he wrote in the 1850's, they're also all free! Next to The Light Princess, his novel The Princess and Curdie (the sequel to The Princess and the Goblin) is my favorite.