The fruit of the orchard is over-ripe, Elaine,
And leaves are crisping on the garden wall.
Leaves on the garden path are wet and rain
Drips from the low shrubs with a steady fall.

It is long, so long since I was here, Elaine,
Moles have gnawed the rose tree at its root;
You did not think that I would come again,
Least of all in the day of falling fruit.


From Caroling Dusk (Harper & Brothers, 1927), edited by Countee Cullen. This poem is in the public domain.