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 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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