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John Greenleaf Whittier

A Day

Talk not of sad November, when a day

Of warm, glad sunshine fills the sky of noon,

And a wind, borrowed from some morn of June,

Stirs the brown grasses and the leafless spray.

On the unfrosted pool the pillared pines

Lay their long shafts of shadow: the small rill,

Singing a pleasant song of summer still,

A line of silver, down the hill-slope shines.

Hushed the bird-voices and the hum of bees,

In the thin grass the crickets pipe no more;

But still the squirrel hoards his winter store,

And drops his nut-shells from the shag-bark trees.

Softly the dark green hemlocks whisper: high

Above, the spires of yellowing larches show,

Where the woodpecker and home-loving crow

And jay and nut-hatch winter's threat defy.

O gracious beauty, ever new and old!

O sights and sounds of nature, doubly dear

When the low sunshine warns the closing year

Of snow-blown fields and waves of Arctic cold!

Close to my heart I fold each lovely thing

The sweet day yields; and, not disconsolate,

With the calm patience of the woods I wait

For leaf and blossom when God gives us Spring!