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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,
its transept earth and air,

The music of its starry march
The chorus of a prayer.

So Nature keeps the reverent frame
With which her years began,

And all her signs and voices shame The prayerless heart of man.


The time of gifts has come again,
And, on my northern window-pane,
Outlined against the day's brief light,
A Christmas token hangs in sight.
The wayside travellers, as they pass,
Mark the gray disk of clouded glass;
And the dull blankness seems, per-
Folly to their wise ignorance.

They cannot from their outlook see
The perfect grace it hath for me;
For there the flower, whose fringes

The frosty breath of autumn blew,
Turns from without its face of bloom
To the warm tropic of my room,
As fair as when beside its brook
the hue of bending skies it took.

So. from the trodden ways of earth,
Seem some sweet souls who veil

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
Were falling like the snow.

The blossoms drifted at our feet,
The orchard birds sang clear:

The sweetest and the saddest day
It seemed of all the year.

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;
Still o'er and o'er I sow the spring

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.

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