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Swift Summer

Running with summer was a race
Till, far from the familiar town,
He comes upon an altered place
Of green now turning, bronze to brown;

And suddenly strange, irresolute,
Stands in an orchard where the haze
Of autumn enters, and the fruit
Falls final as these summer days:

And over his tanned shoulder looks,
Dreading too soon the senseless chime
Of the harsh bell, and the hard books
Recalling him from his true time.

Published September 12,1953, The Saturday Evening Post.

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