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Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Autumn in the Garden

When the frosty kiss of Autumn in the dark
Makes its mark 
On the flowers, and the misty morning grieves 
Over fallen leaves; 
Then my olden garden, where the golden soil 
Through the toil 
Of a hundred years is mellow, rich, and deep, 
Whispers in its sleep. 

'Mid the crumpled beds of marigold and phlox, 
Where the box 
Borders with its glossy green the ancient walks, 
There's a voice that talks 
Of the human hopes that bloomed and withered here 
Year by year,-- 
Dreams of joy, that brightened all the labouring hours, 
Fading as the flowers. 

Yet the whispered story does not deepen grief; 
But relief 
For the loneliness of sorrow seems to flow 
From the Long-Ago, 
When I think of other lives that learned, like mine, 
To resign, 
And remember that the sadness of the fall 
Comes alike to all.

What regrets, what longings for the lost were theirs! 
And what prayers 
For the silent strength that nerves us to endure 
Things we cannot cure! 
Pacing up and down the garden where they paced, 
I have traced 
All their well-worn paths of patience, till I find 
Comfort in my mind. 

Faint and far away their ancient griefs appear: 
Yet how near 
Is the tender voice, the careworn, kindly face, 
Of the human race! 
Let us walk together in the garden, dearest heart, 
Not apart! 
They who know the sorrows other lives have known 
Never walk alone. 

Henry Van Dyke 

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