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[83] The silent woods, the lonely hills,
     Rise solemn in their gladness;
The quiet that the valley fills
     Is scarcely joy or sadness.

How strange! The autumn yesterday
     In winter's grasp seemed dying;
On whirling winds from skies of gray
     The early snow was flying.

And now, while over Nature's mood
     There steals a soft relenting,
I will not mar the present good,
     Forecasting or lamenting.

My autumn time and Nature's hold
     A dreamy tryst together,
And, both grown old, about us fold
     The golden-tissued weather.

I lean my heart against the day
     To feel its bland caressing;
I will not let it pass away
     Before it leaves its blessing.

God's angels come not as of old
     The Syrian shepherds knew them;
In reddening dawns, in sunset gold,
     And warm noon lights I view them.

Nor need there is, in times like this
     When heaven to earth draws nearer,
Of wing or song as witnesses
     To make their presence clearer.

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