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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
America: Vols. XXV–XXIX. 1876–79.

Middle States: Schoharie, N. Y.

The Sabbath Evening Walk

By George Washington Greene (1811–1883)

WE sat till evening sank upon the vale

With dewy shadows soft; the mountain-tops

With clear sharp outline gleaming still in light,

And at our feet, meadow, and waving grain,

And orchards clustering round the village roof.

Our seat was in the shadow of a grove

Of fir-trees and tall pines, amid whose boughs,

Heavy with dew, the delicate-fingered wind

Played mournful airs. Anon from out the vale

Came various sounds commingled, pleasing all;

Watch-dog and lowing herd, and children’s laugh,

And vesper song of some belated bird.

Once, too, the village bell awoke; a peal

Solemn, yet soothing, deep and silvery tones,

Floating in liquid cadence on the wind,

And mingling with the music of the pines.

And this was once thy home; familiar all

To thy dear eyes these scenes so new to mine.

Yon dewy valley with its Sabbath smile,

You fir-clad mountains girding it around,

And yonder village with its single street,

Beheld thy joyous girlhood, and the growth

Of that pure spirit whose sweet ministry

Hath taught my world-worn heart to trust again.

Ah! how mysteriously the threads of life

Are woven. In the sunshine of those days,

No revelation came to tell thy heart

For whom its stores of love were ripening;

Nor mid the shadows that encompassed me

Had even one faint sunbeam pierced! and now,

Hand within hand, and heart on heart reposing,

My sadder nature drawing light from thee,

And tempering the buoyancy of thine,

We stand, and bless together this sweet vale,

And treasure up for memory’s dearest page

Our Sabbath evening’s walk beneath the pines.