When the Leaves Come Out/A Memory

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A Memory

I left you, you remember, singing there
Beneath the swaying branches and the sky;
The breeze just stirred the sunlight in your hair,
And back of you the stream went surging by.

Along the path the violets were wet
And all the hillsides drenched with evening dew.
I strode on quickly that I might forget,
But all the woods were eloquent of you.

Your fresh young beauty stabbed me like a knife;
I seemed to breathe its fragrance everywhere.
I wondered from this mad black whirl of life
How anything on earth could be so fair.

The fire-fly now darts his golden light;
The river's barred reflections leap and twist;
The frogs tune up their chorus for the night
And all the hills are melting into mist.

You seemed the soul of days that used to be.
That song of yours my mother loved of yore,
And as you sang it all came back to me—
The dead America that is no more.


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