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[72]

Hazel blossoms.

the summer warmth has left the sky,
     The summer songs have died away;
And, withered, in the footpaths lie
     The fallen leaves, but yesterday
With ruby and with topaz gay.

The grass is browning on the hills;
     No pale, belated flowers recall
The astral fringes of the rills,
     And drearily the dead vines fall,
Frost-blackened, from the roadside wall.

Yet through the gray and sombre wood,
     Against the dusk of fir and pine,
Last of their floral sisterhood,
     The hazel's yellow blossoms shine,
The tawny gold of Afric's mine!

Small beauty hath my unsung flower,
     For spring to own or summer hail;
But, in the season's saddest hour,
     To skies that weep and winds that wail
Its glad surprisals never fail.

O days grown cold! O life grown old!
     No rose of June may bloom again;
But, like the hazel's twisted gold,
     Through early frost and latter rain
Shall hints of summer-time remain.

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