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At sundown

To E. C. S.

Poet and friend of poets, if thy glass
     Detects no flower in winter's tuft of grass,
Let this slight token of the debt I owe
     Outlive for thee December's frozen day,
And, like the arbutus budding under snow,
     Take bloom and fragrance from some morn of May
When he who gives it shall have gone the way
     Where faith shall see and reverent trust shall know.

The Christmas of 1888.

Low in the east, against a white, cold dawn,
     The black-lined silhouette of the woods was drawn,
And on a wintry waste
     Of frosted streams and hillsides bare and brown,
Through thin cloud-films a pallid ghost looked down,
     The waning moon half-faced!

In that pale sky and sere, snow-waiting earth,
     What sign was there of the immortal birth?
What herald of the One?
     Lo! swift as thought the heavenly radiance came,
A rose-red splendor swept the sky like flame,
     Up rolled the round, bright sun!

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