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Winter dusk, and I peer
From the stone bridge nearby
Through alder and sycamore
At the stream racing high
And red with mountain mud
And listen till I hear
Under the water-roar
The streambed boulders thud
And see them gone dead white
and silent at this spot,
And the last pool sunk from sight,
And the clear, weightless current
Of the air quivering hot
Over the solid torrent.
A place being manifold
With more than the eye can hold,
Was I once Spanish or Greek
To like these gray trees so --
Or a solitary kid
From the dusty plains,
Much to wonder about
Inside himself and out,
Sent to school in town,
Shown a few things to know,
While, in a country drowse,
All but completely lost --
Who came at last to seek
Clearness in all he did,
And had for all his pains
The thing in itself clear
And the meaning disappear
-- A strange curse to bring down
On much that he loved most;