When the Leaves Come Out/Returning

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For works with similar titles, see Returning.

RETURNING

The scene is wan with fading light,
The trees are drooped in hazy dreams,
A far-off cottage window gleams—
A tiny beacon, lone and bright.

The evening sounds are faintly dear—
An echo of the workday strife,
While thrilling with a strange new life
A hidden bird is warbling near.

And one rough shadow, blurred and grey,
Creeps slowly on with feet of lead—
A slave who trudges home to bed
To rest him for another day.

He pauses as he passes by
To catch each liquid dream-like note;
A sob has risen in his throat
Somehow, without him knowing why. . .