Toward even when the day leans down
    To kiss the upturned face of night,
Out just beyond the loud-voiced town
    I know a spot of calm delight.
Like crimson arrows from a quiver
    The red rays pierce the waters flowing
    While we go dreaming, singing, rowing,
To Leudemanns-on-the-River.

The hills, like some glad mocking-bird,
    Send back our laughter and our singing,
While faint---and yet more faint is heard
    The steeple bells all sweetly ringing.
Some message did the winds deliver
    To each glad heart that August night,
    All heard, but all heard not aright;
By Leudemanns-on-the River.

Night falls as in some foreign clime
    Between the hills that slope and rise.
So dusk the shades at landing time,
    We could not see each other's eyes.
We only saw the moonbeams quiver
    Far down upon the stream! that night
    The new moon gave but little light
By Leudemanns-on-the-River.

How dusky were those paths that led
    Up from the river to the hall.
The tall trees branching overhead
    Invite the early shades that fall.
In all the glad blithe world, oh, never
    Were hearts more free from care than when
    We wandered through those walks, we ten,
By Leudemanns-on-the-River.

So soon, so soon, the changes came,
    This August day we two alone,
On that same river not the same,
    Dream of a night for ever flown.
Strange distance have come to sever
    The hearts that gaily beat in pleasure,
    Long miles we cannot cross or measure---
From Leudemanns-on-the-River.

We'll pluck two leaves, dear friend, to-day.
    The green, the russet! seems it strange
    So soon, so soon, the leaves can change!
Ah, me! so runs all life away.
This night wind chills me, and I shiver
    The Summer-time is almost past.
    One more good-bye---perhaps the last
To Leudemanns-on-the-River.

Poetical works of Ella Wheeler Wilcox. by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Edinburgh : W. P. Nimmo, Hay, & Mitchell, 1917.

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