The moon rose as we smoked on, and began to lattice with silver the darkness of the glen, and flood the hillside with misty radiance. Colin made for his sketch-box.
“I must make good use of this moon,” he said, “before we go.”
“And so must I,” said I, laughing as we both went out into the night, he one way and I another, to make our different uses of the moon.
An hour later Colin turned in with a panel that seemed made of moonlight. “How on earth did you do it?” I said. “It is as though you had drawn up the moon in a silver bucket from the bottom of a fairy well.”
“No, no,” he protested; “I know better. But where is your clair de lune?”
“Nothing doing,” I answered.
“Well, then, say those lines you wrote a week or two ago instead.”
“‘Berries already,’ do you mean?”
Here are the lines he meant:
Berries already, September soon,—
The shortening day and ike early moon;
The year is busy with next year’s flowers
The seeds are ready for next year’ showers;
Through a thousand tossing trees there swells
The sigh of the Summer’s sad farewells.
Too soon those leaves in the sunset sky
Low down on the wintry ground will lie,
And grim November and December
Leave naught of Summer to remember—
Saving some flower in a book put by,
Secure from the soft effacing snow,
Though all the rest of the Summer go.
THE GREEN FRIEND
Though we had received such unmistakable notice to quit, we still lingered on in our solitude, after the manner of defiant tenants whom nothing short of corporal ejection can dislodge. The North wind began to roar in the tree-tops and shake the doors and windows of the shack, like an angry landlord, but we paid no heed to him. Yet, all the time, both of us, in our several ways, were saying our farewells, and packing up our memories for departure. There was an old elm-tree which Colin had taken for his Summer god, and which he was never tired of painting. He must make the one perfect study of that before we pulled up stakes. So, each day, after our morning adoration of the sun, we would separate about our different ways and business.