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The wind begun to rock the grass
With threatening tunes and low, --
He flung a menace at the earth,
A menace at the sky.
The leaves unhooked themselves from trees
And started all abroad;
The dust did scoop itself like hands
And throw away the road.

The wizard-fingers never rest,
The purple brook within the breast
Still chafes its narrow bed;
Still rears the East her amber flag,
Guides still the sun along the crag
His caravan of red,
Like flowers that heard the tale of dews,
But never deemed the dripping prize
Awaited their low brows;

Mine, here in vision and in veto!
Mine, by the grave's repeal
Titled, confirmed, -- delirious charter!
Mine, while the ages steal!
You left me, sweet, two legacies, --
A legacy of love
A Heavenly Father would content,
Had He the offer of;

And still within a summer's night
A something so transporting bright,
I clap my hands to see;
Then veil my too inspecting face,
Lest such a subtle, shimmering grace
Flutter too far for me.

As imperceptibly as grief
The summer lapsed away, --
Too imperceptible, at last,
To seem like perfidy.
A quietness distilled,
As twilight long begun,
Or Nature, spending with herself
Sequestered afternoon.
The dusk drew earlier in,
The morning foreign shone, --
A courteous, yet harrowing grace,
As guest who would be gone.

Till sundown crept, a steady tide,
And men that made the hay,
And afternoon, and butterfly,
Extinguished in its sea.
Before you thought of spring,
Except as a surmise,
You see, God bless his suddenness,
A fellow in the skies
Of independent hues,
A little weather-worn,
Inspiriting habiliments
Of indigo and brown.

The color on the cruising cloud,
The interdicted ground
Behind the hill, the house behind, --
There Paradise is found!
A word is dead
When it is said,
Some say.
I say it just
Begins to live
That day.

At half-past seven, element
Nor implement was seen,
And place was where the presence was,
Circumference between.
The day came slow, till five o'clock,
Then sprang before the hills
Like hindered rubies, or the light
A sudden musket spills.
The purple could not keep the east,
The sunrise shook from fold,
Like breadths of topaz, packed a night,
The lady just unrolled.

Our pace took sudden awe,
Our feet reluctant led.
Before were cities, but between,
The forest of the dead.
Retreat was out of hope, --
Behind, a sealed route,
Eternity's white flag before,
And God at every gate.

I went to thank her,
But she slept;
Her bed a funnelled stone,
With nosegays at the head and foot,
That travellers had thrown,
Who went to thank her;
But she slept.
'T was short to cross the sea
To look upon her like, alive,
But turning back 't was slow.

Besides, the deepest cellar
That ever mason hewed;
Look to it, by its fathoms
Ourselves be not pursued.
To hang our head ostensibly,
And subsequent to find
That such was not the posture
Of our immortal mind,

If spoken by the distant bird,
If met in ether sea
By frigate or by merchantman,
Report was not to me.
I started early, took my dog,
And visited the sea;
The mermaids in the basement
Came out to look at me,

I knew no more of want or cold,
Phantasms both become,
For this new value in the soul,
Supremest earthly sum.
The heaven below the heaven above
Obscured with ruddier hue.
Life's latitude leant over-full;
The judgment perished, too.

Not knowing when the dawn will come
I open every door;
Or has it feathers like a bird,
Or billows like a shore?
A murmur in the trees to note,
Not loud enough for wind;
A star not far enough to seek,
Nor near enough to find;

The sexton keeps the key to,
Putting up
Our life, his porcelain,
Like a cup
Discarded of the housewife,
Quaint or broken;
A newer Sevres pleases,
Old ones crack.
I could not die with you,
For one must wait
To shut the other's gaze down, --
You could not.
And I, could I stand by
And see you freeze,
Without my right of frost,
Death's privilege?

To know if he was patient, part content,
Was dying as he thought, or different;
Was it a pleasant day to die,
And did the sunshine face his way?
What was his furthest mind, of home, or God,
Or what the distant say
At news that he ceased human nature
On such a day?

Ascend in ceaseless carol,
Inaudible, indeed,
To us, the duller scholars
Of the mysterious bard!
I years had been from home,
And now, before the door,
I dared not open, lest a face
I never saw before

Ascend in ceaseless carol,
Inaudible, indeed,
To us, the duller scholars
Of the mysterious bard!
I years had been from home,
And now, before the door,
I dared not open, lest a face
I never saw before
Stare vacant into mine
And ask my business there.
My business, -- just a life I left,
Was such still dwelling there?

What interested scholars most,
What competitions ran
When Plato was a certainty.
And Sophocles a man;
When Sappho was a living girl,
And Beatrice wore
The gown that Dante deified.
Facts, centuries before,

The skies can't keep their secret!
They tell it to the hills --
The hills just tell the orchards --
And they the daffodils!
A bird, by chance, that goes that way
Soft overheard the whole.
If I should bribe the little bird,
Who knows but she would tell?
I think I won't, however,
It's finer not to know;
If summer were an axiom,
What sorcery had snow?

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