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Dear, near and true--no truer Time himself
Can prove you, tho' he make you evermore
Dearer and nearer, as the rapid of life
Shoots to the fall--take this, and pray that he,
Who wrote it, honoring your sweet faith in him,
May trust himself; and spite of praise and scorn,
As one who feels the immeasurable world,
Attain the wise indifference of the wise;
And after Autumn past--if left to pass
His autumn into seeming-leafless days--
Draw toward the long frost and longest night,
Wearing his wisdom lightly, like the fruit
Which in our winter woodland looks a flower.*
*The fruit of the Spindle-tree (Euonymus Europaeus).
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