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59. the red stain on the leaves.

by G. W. Bungay.
The wood-bird's nest upon the bough
     Deserted hangs, and heaped with leaves:
Once filled with life and joy, but now
     Sad as a stricken heart that grieves.
Amid the light of such a scene,
     Where silent vales and hills are clad
In gayest hues of gold and green,
     Why should the human heart be sad?

Yet sombre thoughts flit through the mind,
     And pass unspoken and unsung,
As leaves, touched by the autumn wind,
     Fall from the twigs to which they clung.
Here, like the patriarch in his dream,
     We see the ladder angels trod,
The mountains to our vision seem
     To lean against the throne of God.

The vales of golden mist that rise
     Over the woodlands to the sea,
Drop where the gallant soldier lies,
     Whose furlough is eternity.
Upon the leaves now sear and red,
     That once were flakes of fire to me,
I see the blood our armies shed,
     That our dear country might be free.

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