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A Farewell

Kate Seymour Maclean 1836 ( Pottsgrove, Pennsylvania) – 1918 ( New York)

Down the steep west unrolled,
I watch the river of the sunset flow,
With all its crimson lights, and gleaming gold,
Into the dusk below.
 
And even as I gaze,
The soft lights fade,-the pageant gay is o'er,
And all is grey and dark, like those lost days,
The days that are no more.
 
No more through whispering pines,
I shall behold, in the else silent even,
The first faint star-watch set along the lines
Of the white tents of heaven.
 
Before the earliest buds
Have softly opened, heralding the May
With tender light illuming the gray woods,
I shall be gone away.
 
Ah! wood-walks winding sweet
Through all the valleys sloping to the west,
Where glad brooks wander with melodious feet,
In musical unrest,--
 
Ye will not miss me here
With all the bright things of the coming May,
And the rejoicing of the awakened year,--
I shall be far away.
 
Yet in your loneliest nooks,
I know where all the greenest mosses grow,
And where the violets lift their first sweet looks,
Out of the waning snow.
 
And I have heard, unsought,
Under the musing shadows of the beech,
Wood-voices answering my unspoken thought,
In half-articulate speech.
 
And oh! ye shadowy bands,
Rank above rank along yon rocky height,
That lift into the heavens your mailed hands,
And linked armour bright.
 
What other eyes will trace
From this dear window haunted with the past,
Strange likeness to some well beloved face,
Among your profiles vast?
 
What stranger hands will tend
The nameless treasures I must leave behind,--
My flowers, my birds, and each inanimate friend,
Linked closer than my kind.
 
These glorious landscapes old,
Framed in my cottage windows,--hill-sides dun,
With umber shadows lightened to pale gold
By touches of the sun,--
 
Valleys like emeralds set
Lonely and sweet in the dusk hills afar,
That half enclose them, like a carcanet
That holds a diamond star.
 
Will any gentler face,
Weary and sad sometimes, like mine grow bright
Touched with your simple beauty-in my place,
My garden of delight?--
 
I know not,--yet farewell
Sweet home of mine,--my parting song is o'er,
And stranger forms among your bowers shall dwell,
Where I return no more.
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Submitted on August 03, 2020

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Kate Seymour Maclean

Washington Gladden was a leading American Congregational pastor and early leader in the Social Gospel movement. He was a leading member of the Progressive Movement, serving for two years as a member of the Columbus, Ohio city council and campaigning against Boss Tweed as religious editor of the New York Independent. more…

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