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C.D. Warner, et al., comp. The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Aspects of the Pines

By Paul Hamilton Hayne (1830–1886)

TALL, sombre, grim, against the morning sky

They rise, scarce touched by melancholy airs,

Which stir the fadeless foliage dreamfully,

As if from realms of mystical despairs.

Tall, sombre, grim, they stand with dusky gleams

Brightening to gold within the woodland’s core,

Beneath the gracious noontide’s tranquil beams—

But the weird winds of morning sigh no more.

A stillness strange, divine, ineffable,

Broods round and o’er them in the wind’s surcease,

And on each tinted copse and shimmering dell

Rests the mute rapture of deep-hearted peace.

Last, sunset comes—the solemn joy and might

Borne from the west when cloudless day declines—

Low, flute-like breezes sweep the waves of light,

And lifting dark green tresses of the pines,

Till every lock is luminous, gently float,

Fraught with hale odors up the heavens afar,

To faint when twilight on her virginal throat

Wears for a gem the tremulous vesper star.