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Ii.

White with its sun-bleached dust, the pathway winds
     Before me; dust is on the shrunken grass,
And on the trees beneath whose boughs I pass;
     Frail screen against the Hunter of the sky,
Who, glaring on me with his lidless eye,
     While mounting with his dog-star high and higher
Ambushed in light intolerable, unbinds
     The burnished quiver of his shafts of fire.
Between me and the hot fields of his South
     A tremulous glow, as from a furnace-mouth,
Glimmers and swims before my dazzled sight,
     As if the burning arrows of his ire
Broke as they fell, and shattered into light;
     Yet on my cheek I feel the western wind,
And hear it telling to the orchard trees,
     And to the faint and flower-forsaken bees,
Tales of fair meadows, green with constant
     streams,
And mountains rising blue and cool behind, [27]
     Where in moist dells the purple orchis gleams,
And starred with white the virgin's bower is
     twined.
So the o'erwearied pilgrim, as he fares
     Along life's summer waste, at times is fanned,
Even at noontide, by the cool, sweet airs
     Of a serener and a holier land,
Fresh as the morn, and as the dewfall bland.
     Breath of the blessed Heaven for which we pray,
Blow from the eternal hills! make glad our earthly way!

8th mo., 1852.

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