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  Summer Hours  


It is the year's high noon,
     The earth sweet incense yields,
     And o'er the fresh, green fields
Bends the clear sky of June.

I leave the crowded streets,
     The hum of busy life,
     Its clamor and its strife,
To breathe thy perfumed sweets.

O rare and golden hours!
     The bird's melodious song,
     Wavelike, is borne along
Upon a strand of flowers.

I wander far away,
     Where, through the forest trees,
     Sports the cool summer breeze,
In wild and wanton play.

A patriarchal elm
     Its stately form uprears,
     Which twice a hundred years
Has ruled this woodland realm.

I sit beneath its shade,
     And watch, with careless eye,
     The brook that babbles by,
And cools the leafy glade.

In truth I wonder not,
     That in the ancient days
     The temples of God's praise
Were grove and leafy grot.

The noblest ever planned,
     With quaint device and rare,
     By man, can ill compare
With these from God's own hand.

Pilgrim with way-worn feet,
     Who, treading life's dull round,
     No true repose hast found,
Come to this green retreat.

For bird, and flower, and tree,
     Green fields, and woodland wild,
     Shall bear, with voices mild,
Sweet messages to thee.

       - Horatio Alger Jr.

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