Upon a pasture hill a pine-tree stands

Upon a pasture hill a pine-tree stands
And in the air holds up its slender hands;
A double sheep-track turns beneath the tree,
Dips to the firs, and seeks the meadow lands.
The sun is setting; slowly, one by one,
Faint breaths of wind along the branches run;
The quiet of the hills is on the air
And on the earth beneath a quiet sun.
In contrast with the sky a gray stone wall
Is black beneath the orange light; and all
The earth is black; never so black the earth
As underneath a sunset sky in fall.
The pine-tree's plumy branches make a net
And hold the light of heaven; and nearer yet,
Cold in the unfeatured blackness of the ground,
Up-springs a ray from some hid rivulet,
Deep in the pasture hummocks at my feet;
I hear its icy ripple, low and sweet;
No other sound; but in the air, unheard,
I hear the pulse of winter coldly beat.

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