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A November Wood-Walk.

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

Dead leaves are deep in all our forest walks;
Their brightest tints not all extinguished yet,
Shine redly glimmering through the dewy wet;
And whereso'er thy musing foot is set,
The fragrant cool-wort lifts its emerald stalks.
 
How kindly nature wraps secure and warm,
In the fallen mantle of her summer pride,
These lovely tender things that peep and hide,
Whom unawares thy curious eye hath spied,
For the long night of winter's frost and storm.
 
Still keeps the deer-berry its vivid green,
Set in its glowing calyx like a gem;
While hung above, a marvellous diadem
Of tawny gold, the bittersweet's gray stem,
Strung with its globes of murky flame is seen.
 
The foot sinks ankle-deep in velvet moss,
The shroud of some dead giant of his race;
Dun gold and green and brown thick interlace,
Their tiny exquisite leaves in cunning trace,
Weaving their beaded filaments across.
 
Here mayest thou lie, and looking up, behold
Far up the stately trees sway to and fro
In the deep sunny air, with motion slow,
And whispering to each other weird and low,
The secrets of the haunted cloud-land old
 
Heaven seems not half so far as in the town,--
Looking through smoke and dust and tears to gam
Some heavenly comfort for thy human pain,
Heaven seems far off, but here the dews and ram
Come like a benediction from the Father down.
 
Nor will He who forgets not any weed
That blooms its little life in forest shade,
And dies when it hath cast its ripened seed,
Forget the human creatures He has made,
Frail as they are, and full of infinite need.
 
Now like a sheaf of golden arrows fall
The last rays of the Indian Summer sun;
And hark along the hollow hills they run,
Invisible messengers, the battle-call
Of coming storms, in pipings faint and small
They bring:--the pageant of the year is done.
 
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Submitted on August 03, 2020

1:39 min read
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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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