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With drooping head and branches crossed
The twilight forest grieves, Or speaks with tongues of Pentecost
From all its sunlit leaves.
The blue sky is the temple's arch,
The music of its starry march
So Nature keeps the reverent frame
And all her signs and voices shame The prayerless heart of man.
THE PRESSED GENTIAN.
The time of gifts has come again,
They cannot from their outlook see
The frosty breath of autumn blew,
So. from the trodden ways of earth,
their worth, And offer to the careless glance The clouding gray of circumstance. They blossom best where hearth-fires
To loving eyes alone they turn The flowers of inward grace, that hide
Their beauty from the world outside.
But deeper meanings come to me, My half-immortal flower, from thee!
Man judges from a partial view, None ever yet his brother knew; The Eternal Eye that sees the whole May better read the darkened soul, And find, to outward sense denied, The flower upon its inmost side!
The pines were dark on Ramoth hill, Their song was soft and low:
The blossoms in the sweet May wind
The blossoms drifted at our feet,
The sweetest and the saddest day
For, more to me than birds or flowers.
My playmate left her home, And took with her the laughing spring. The music and the bloom.
She kissed the lips of kith and kin,
She laid her hand in mine; What more could ask the bashful boy
Who fed her father's kine?
She left us in the bloom of May:
The constant years told o'er Their seasons with as sweet May morns,
But she came back no more.
I walk, with noiseless feet, the round
Of uneventful years;
And reap the autumn ears.
She lives where all the golden year
Her summer roses blow; The dusky children of the sun
Before her come and go.
There haply with her jewelled hands She smooths her silken gown, —
No more the homespun lap wherein I shook the walnuts down.