THE autumn day steals, pallid as a ghost,
Along these fields and man-forsaken ways;
And o'er the hedgerows bramble-knotted maze
The whitening locks of Old Man's Beard are tost.
Here, shrunk by centuries of fire and frost,
A crab tree stands where--lingering gossip says--
In ocean-moated England's golden days,
Great treasure, in a frolic, once was lost.
Here--fresh from fumes of some Falstaffian bout,
When famous champions, fired by many a bet,
Had drained huge bumpers while the stars would set--
Beneath its reeling branches by the way,
Till twice twelve hours of April bloom were out--
Locked in oblivion--Shakespeare lost a day.
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