Slazburg — November

The bells are chiming in the town.
It's four; and on the darkening streets
The mountains scatter chilling down
The wintry dusk. The shrill bell beats

And stops. Startling our footsteps ring;
Our voices sound more sharp and clear;
The bright shop windows burn and sting:
Around, the snow-streaked hills come near.

We had been walking all the day
Through miry lanes, 'twixt fields new-ploughed.
White peaks drew near and dropped away
On either hand, and one pale cloud

Covered the sky and closed it up.
The world seemed small; we could but see
The black wet fields in their wet cup:
The roadside brook flowed drearily.

But when at dusk the town drew nigh
We saw it glittering dark and bright,
And one near spire stood up so high
It showed above the distant height.

The church, the mountain, side by side,
Stood there as childish pictures stand;
The great spanned roof rose, curved and wide
And clear and tiny lay the land.

We gazed; as on we trudged again
The small green landscape drank us in.
A great brown horse stood in a wain,
His nostrils smoking silvery thin.

Gleaming he seemed to warm the air;
His warm bright bridle jingled high;
He stood so solitary there,
There seemed naught else beneath the sky.

Then through chill narrow streets to see
From bright doors clattering men burst out
One breath the door swung brilliantly,
Then the dark street rang with the shout.

Now night has fallen, and far up
The hills climb back into the sky.
The valley is a misted cup;
The sparkling city walks on high.
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