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A Spell before Winter

 After the red leaf and the gold have gone,
Brought down by the wind, then by hammering rain
Bruised and discolored, when October's flame
Goes blue to guttering in the cusp, this land
Sinks deeper into silence, darker into shade.
There is a knowledge in the look of things, The old hills hunch before the north wind blows.
Now I can see certain simplicities In the darkening rust and tarnish of the time, And say over the certain simplicities, The running water and the standing stone, The yellow haze of the willow and the black Smoke of the elm, the silver, silent light Where suddenly, readying toward nightfall, The sumac's candelabrum darkly flames.
And I speak to you now with the land's voice, It is the cold, wild land that says to you A knowledge glimmers in the sleep of things: The old hills hunch before the north wind blows.

Poem by Howard Nemerov
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