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[266] Clear drawn against the hard blue sky.
     The peaks had winter's keenness;
And, close on autumn's frost, the vales
     Had more than June's fresh greenness.

Again the sodden forest floors
     With golden lights were checkered,
Once more rejoicing leaves in wind
     And sunshine danced and flickered.

It was as if the summer's late
     Atoning for its sadness
Had borrowed every season's charm
     To end its days in gladness.

I call to mind those banded vales
     Of shadow and of shining,
Through which, my hostess at my side,
     I drove in day's declining.

We held our sideling way above
     The river's whitening shallows,
By homesteads old, with wide-flung barns
     Swept through and through by swallows;

By maple orchards, belts of pine
     And larches climbing darkly
The mountain slopes, and, over all,
     The great peaks rising starkly.

You should have seen that long hill-range
     With gaps of brightness riven,—
How through each pass and hollow streamed
     The purpling lights of heaven,—

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