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The Silver Birch

O SILVER one, O silver one,
Above the valley of the Bane:
O stem with snow-water agleam,
And glistening limbs, and trails of pearl.

The sun has sent a slanting kiss:
Red fire and gold, his arrows burn:
Now that he aims a shaft at thee,
Red fire and gold to silver turn!

When I am spent with the ways of men.
I'll wash my hands in melting snow:
And live with thee among the oaks,
And watch the river swirl below.

But I must ever be travelling
From sea to sea, from shoal to shoal:
Farewell ! O still and beautiful,
I would thy valley were my goal!

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