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Midnight in Camp

 Night in the unslumbering forest! From the free,
Vast pinelands by the foot of man untrod,
Blows the wild wind, roaming rejoicingly
This wilderness of God;
And the tall firs that all day long have flung
Balsamic odors where the sunshine burned,
Chant to its harping primal epics learned
When this old world was young.
Beyond the lake, white, girdling peaks uplift Untroubled brows to virgin skies afar, And o'er the uncertain water glimmers drift Of fitful cloud and star.
Sure never day such mystic beauty held As sylvan midnight here in this surcease Of toil, when the kind darkness gives us peace Garnered from years of eld.
Lo! Hearken to the mountain waterfall Laughing adown its pathway to the glen And nearer, in the cedars, the low call Of brook to brook again; Voices that garish daytime may not know Wander at will along the bosky steeps, And silent, silver-footed moonlight creeps Through the dim glades below.
Oh, it is well to waken with the woods And feel, as those who wait with God alone, The forest's heart in these rare solitudes Beating against our own.
Close-shut behind us are the gates of care, Divinity enfolds us, prone to bless, And our souls kneel.
Night in the wilderness Is one great prayer.

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