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 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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