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[262] The supreme hours unnoted come;
     Unfelt the turning tides of doom;
And so the maids laughed on,
     Nor dreamed what Fate had done,—

Nor knew the step was Destiny's
     That rustled in the birchen trees,
As, with their lives forecast,
     Fisher and mower passed.

Erelong by lake and rivulet side
     The summer roses paled and died,
And Autumn's fingers shed
     The maple's leaves of red.

Through the long gold-hazed afternoon,
     Alone, but for the diving loon,
The partridge in the brake,
     The black duck on the lake,

Beneath the shadow of the ash
     Sat man and maid by Attitash;
And earth and air made room
     For human hearts to bloom.

Soft spread the carpets of the sod,
     And scarlet-oak and golden-rod
With blushes and with smiles
     Lit up the forest aisles.

The mellow light the lake aslant,
     The pebbled margin's ripple-chant
Attempered and low-toned,
     The tender mystery owned.

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Fort Fisher (North Carolina, United States) (1)

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