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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! And all was changed. From a transfigured world The moon's ghost fled, the smoke of home-heart