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- For weeks and weeks the autumn world stood still,
- Clothed in the shadow of a smoky haze;
- The fields were dead, the wind had lost its will,
- And all the lands were hushed by wood and hill,
- In those grey, withered days.
- Behind a mist the blear sun rose and set,
- At night the moon would nestle in a cloud;
- The fisherman, a ghost, did cast his net;
- The lake its shores forgot to chafe and fret,
- And hushed its caverns loud.
- Far in the smoky woods the birds were mute,
- Save that from blackened tree a jay would scream,
- Or far in swamps the lizard's lonesome lute
- Would pipe in thirst, or by some gnarlèd root
- The tree-toad trilled his dream.
- From day to day still hushed by season's mood,
- The streams stayed in their runnels shrunk and dry;
- Suns rose aghast by wave and shore and wood,
- And all the world, with ominous silence, stood
- In weird expectancy:
- When one strange night the sun like blood went down,
- Flooding the heavens in a ruddy hue;
- Red grew the lake, the sere fields parched and brown,
- Red grew the marshes where the creeks stole down,
- But never a wind-breath blew.
- That night I felt the winter in my veins,
- A joyous tremor of the icy glow;
- And woke to hear the north's wild vibrant strains,
- While far and wide, by withered woods and plains,
- Fast fell the driving snow.
- Wilfred Campbell
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