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On the Hills

by
 Through the pungent hours of the afternoon,
On the autumn slopes we have lightly wandered 
Where the sunshine lay in a golden swoon
And the lingering year all its sweetness squandered.
Oh, it was blithesome to roam at will Over the crest of each westering hill, Over those dreamy, enchanted lands Where the trees held to us their friendly hands! Winds in the pine boughs softly crooned, Or in the grasses complained most sweetly, With all the music of earth attuned In this dear ripe time that must pass so fleetly: Golden rod as we idled by Held its torches of flame on high, And the asters beckoned along our way Like fair fine ladies in silk array.
We passed by woods where the day aside Knelt like a pensive nun and tender, We looked on valleys of purple pride Where she reigned a queen in her misty splendor; But out on the hills she was wild and free, A comrade to wander right gipsily, Luring us on over waste and wold With the charm of a message half sung, half told, And now, when far in the shining west She has dropped her flowers on the sunset meadow, We turn away from our witching quest To the kindly starshine and gathering shadow; Filled to the lips of our souls are we With the beauty given so lavishly, And hand in hand with the night we come Back to the light and the hearth of home.

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