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The lesson of the leaves.

thou who bearest on thy thoughtful face
The wearied calm that follows after grief,
See how the autumn guides each loosened leaf
To sure repose in its own sheltered place.

Ah, not forever whirl they in the race
Of wild forlornness round the gathered sheaf,
Or hurrying onward in a rapture brief
Spin o'er the moorlands into trackless space.

Some hollow captures each; some sheltering wall
Arrests the wanderer on its aimless way;
The autumn's pensive beauty needs them all,

And winter finds them warm, though sere and gray.
They nurse young blossoms for the spring's sweet call,
And shield new leaflets for the burst of May.

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