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Man and Nature

By Elizabeth Barrett Browning A sad man on a summer day Did look upon the earth and say – ‘Purple cloud the hill-top binding; Folded hills the valleys wind in; Valleys with fresh streams among you; Streams with bosky trees along you; Trees with many birds and blossoms; Birds with music-trembling bosoms; Blossoms dropping dews that wreathe you To your fellow flowers beneath you; Flowers that constellate on earth; Earth that shakest to the mirth Of the merry Titan Ocean, All his shining hair in motion! Why am I thus the only one Who can be dark beneath the sun?’ But when the summer day was past, He looked to heaven and smiled at last, Self-answered so – ‘Because, O cloud, Pressing with thy crumpled shroud Heavily on mountain top, – Hills that almost seem to drop Stricken with a misty death To the valleys underneath, – Valleys sighing with the torrent, – Waters streaked with branches horrent, – Branchless trees that shake your head Wildly o’er your blossoms spread Where the common flowers

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