Autumn

- 1873-1908

In the dreamy silence
Of the afternoon, a
Cloth of gold is woven
Over wood and prairie;
And the jaybird, newly
Fallen from the heaven,
Scatters cordial greetings,
And the air is filled with
Scarlet leaves, that, dropping,
Rise again, as ever,
With a useless sigh for
Rest—and it is Autumn.

My Fancy

Why do trees along the river
     Lean so far out o’er the tide?
Very wise men tell me why, but
    I am never satisfied;
And so I keep my fancy still,
    That trees lean out to save
The drowning from the clutches of
    The cold, remorseless wave.

Assured

Be it dark; be it bright;
    Be it pain; be it rest;
Be it wrong; be it right—
    It must be for the best.

Some good must somewhere wait,
    And sometime joy and pain
Must cease to alternate,
    Or else we live in vain.

To Yahola, On His First Birthday

The sky has put her bluest garment on,
    And gently brushed the snowy clouds away;
The robin trills a sweeter melody,
    Because you are just one year old today.

The wind remembers, in his sweet refrains,
    Away, away up in the tossing trees,
That you came in the world a year ago,
    And earth is filled with pleasant harmonies,

            And all things seem to say,
            “Just one year old today.”

Related Poems

O Autumn, Autumn!

O Autumn, Autumn! O pensive light
     and wistful sound!
Gold-haunted sky, green-haunted ground!

When, wan, the dead leaves flutter by
     Deserted realms of butterfly!
When robins band themselves together

     To seek the sound of sun-steeped weather;
And all of summer’s largesse goes
     For lands of olive and the rose!

Nothing Gold Can Stay

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.