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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE HILLS, by                    
First Line: I saw the hills in childhood years
Last Line: Against a changeless sky.
Subject(s): Mountains; Hills; Downs (great Britain)

I saw the Hills in childhood years,
Against a new-Spring sky;
How fair they seemed! how green and fair!
How very, very high!
And day on day I longed to know
What lay beyond those crowns of snow,
So, by and by, upon that quest,
I crossed their green and swelling crest --
To worlds beyond went I.

I saw the Hills in manhood years,
Against a summer sky;
The same great Hills, but now they were
All seared, and brown, and dry.
And I recalled a distant Spring,
The April-song the robins sing,
My father's acres, rich with grain,
And then the cool September rain;
The dismal voice of wind at night,
As if in swift, perpetual flight --
As ever -- now -- am I.

I saw the Hills -- the same great Hills --
Against a winter sky,
Rise stark and white and great with snow,
Erect and white and high.
Again I would cross their swelling crest
(An old man would with his fathers rest),
But the Hills are high, the winds are chill,
And weak, an old man's heart and will.
I will lay me down on the wintry plain,
And wait for the Spring to come again,
To dream in the shadow of that great height,
Of the Hills of green, and brown, and white,
Against a changeless sky.

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