Apples Ungathered

Some wand has here been waved: the meadow streams
Run black through mounded whiteness and the sky
Is darker than the earth; the birds that fly
Utter in passing thin disconsolate screams,
The trees are lost in unresolving dreams
And the cold snows have drifted up as high
As the sagged headstones where dead farmers lie
Who once drove down these roads their smoking teams.

Death, death, and beauty in death! the orchard stands
Each bough still weighted with its fruit, once red
With country vigor, hard and fresh and sweet
But glamorless and only fit to eat —
Now comes the lovelier harvest of the dead,
Soft apples fitted for a ghost's soft hands.
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