It's autumn in the country I remember How warm a wind blew here about the ways! And shadows on the hillside lay to slumber During the long sun-sweetened summer-days. It's cold abroad the country I remember. The swallows veering skimmed the golden grain At midday with a wing aslant and limber; And yellow cattle browsed upon the plain It's empty down the country I remember. I had a sister lovely in my sight: Her hair was dark, her eyes were very sombre; We sang together in the woods at night. It's lonely in the country I remember. The babble of our children fills my ears, And on our hearth I stare the perished ember To flames that show all starry thro' my tears. It's dark about the country I remember. There are the mountains where I lived. The path Is slushed with cattle-tracks and fallen timber, The stumps are twisted by the tempests' wrath. But that I knew these places are my own, I'd ask how came such wretchedness to cumber The earth, and I to people it alone. It rains across the country I remember.
Trumbull Stickney - 1874-1904
On Some Shells Found Inland
These are my murmur-laden shells that keep A fresh voice tho' the years be very gray. The wave that washed their lips and tuned their lay Is gone, gone with the faded ocean sweep, The royal tide, gray ebb and sunken neap And purple midday,—gone! To this hot clay Must sing my shells, where yet the primal day, Its roar and rhythm and splendour will not sleep. What hand shall join them to their proper sea If all be gone? Shall they forever feel Glories undone and world that cannot be?— 'Twere mercy to stamp out this agèd wrong, Dash them to earth and crunch them with the heel And make a dust of their seraphic song.