Much have I spoken of the faded leaf; Long have I listened to the wailing wind, And watched it ploughing through the heavy clouds, For autumn charms my melancholy mind. When autumn comes, the poets sing a dirge: The year must perish; all the flowers are dead; The sheaves are gathered; and the mottled quail Runs in the stubble, but the lark has fled! Still, autumn ushers in the Christmas cheer, The holly-berries and the ivy-tree: They weave a chaplet for the Old Year’s bier, These waiting mourners do not sing for me! I find sweet peace in depths of autumn woods, Where grow the ragged ferns and roughened moss; The naked, silent trees have taught me this,— The loss of beauty is not always loss!
The crimson dawn breaks through the clouded east,
And waking breezes round the casement pipe;
They blow the globes of dew from opening buds,
And steal the odors of the sleeping flowers.
The swallow calls its young ones from the eaves,
To dart above their shadows on the lake,
Till its long rollers redden in the sun,
And bend the lances of the mirrored pines.
Who knows the miracle that brings the morn?
Still in my house I linger, though the night—
The night that hides me from myself is gone.
Light robes the world, but strips me bare again.
I will not follow on the paths of day.
I know the dregs within its crystal hours;
The bearers of my cups have served me well;
I drained them, and the bearers come no more.
Rise, morning, rise, for those believing souls
Who seek completion in day’s garish light.
My casement I will close, keep shut my door,
Till day and night are only dreams to me.